It’s that time of year again! Seasonal decorations are popping up all over the place, and many of us are getting ready for holiday events. This can be a stressful time of year for our animal companions. Here, a Thorold, ON vet offers some advice on keeping your pet happy, healthy, and safe throughout the holidays.
Keep your furry friend’s safety in mind when hanging decorations. Ribbons, string lights, tinsel, fragile ornaments, ornament hooks, pine needles, candles, and potpourri burners all pose a risk to your beloved pet. Pine needles are also hazardous. If you get a real tree, cover the water bowl, as it could contain toxic residue. Many popular holiday plants, such as poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, and ivy, are also unsafe. Put anything that could be hazardous in spots your pet can’t reach. Also, avoid leaving pets unattended in decorated rooms.
Cold weather is just as uncomfortable and dangerous for pets as it is for us. If you have a cat, keep Fluffy safe and sound indoors. As for Fido, limit his outdoor time when it’s really cold. Paw wax and doggy jackets will help keep your pooch comfortable. For smaller pets, make sure their cages are at a comfortable temperature.
Those delicious holiday meals are a big part of many traditions. It’s fine to offer your pet a special treat, but stick with safe, suitable options. Our animal friends all have slightly different nutritional needs, so ask your vet for specific recommendations. That said, there are some foods that are generally unsafe for all pets. Chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, raw yeast or dough, processed foods, avocados, and anything containing xylitol are all on the no-no list, along with garlic, onions, and chives.
Pets are part of the family, and definitely deserve a gift or two. Toys, treats, and new beds all make perfect presents. Hidey-holes and new cages are at the top of the gift-suggestion list for many smaller animals. Snap a cute photo of your animal pal with their gift!
The holiday season can be pretty busy, with events often happening back to back. Take some time to just relax! Watching a good seasonal movie is a great way to enjoy some quiet quality time with your pet.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Heartland Niagara Veterinary Hospital, your Thorold, ON vet clinic. Call us anytime!