I’m sure you love your vet, but not enough to spend a Holiday with them! December is full of holiday jollies, with celebrations and gatherings, good food, and good cheer. But nothing can spoil a holiday like an emergency trip to see your vet or a chase around the neighborhood looking for a runaway.
Here are just a few ideas to keep your pet safe and away from your veterinarian’s door – or if you have a mobile vet service like we provide…to keep the vet away from your door! Let’s start with the obvious…
In general, around the Holidays…or at any time really, keep people food away from your pets. If you want to include them in the festivities, either make or buy Holiday treats that are made for them rather than sharing your treats with them. These items are very dangerous for pets:
- Other sweets and baked goods
- Turkey and turkey skin
- Table scraps
- Yeast dough
During the Holidays, we tend to eat more extra-rich foods. Table scraps can be especially fattening and hard for animals to digest; they can cause things like pancreatitis, painful gas, or dangerous bloating. Doing what you think is a good thing by spoiling your pet might be the worst thing you can do for them. So ignore the begging looks!
Once you are done with your Christmas meal or your New Year’s feast, clear the food from your table, counters and serving areas when you are done.
When your party moves on to a different room, make sure the trash gets taken out where your pet can’t reach it. A turkey or chicken carcass could be deadly to your pet.
If you believe your pet has eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local emergency vet clinic immediately. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 1-888-426-4435. Signs of pet distress include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Holiday Decorations, Lights & Ornaments
Decorations, lights, and Christmas trees decked with tinsel, light strings, and ornaments make this time of year feel fully festive, but they can be dangerously tempting for your pets.
- Christmas trees – Cats especially love them! They can tip over if they climb on them or try to play with the lights and ornaments. See if you can tie you tree to something to secure it.
- Water additives for Christmas trees = danger.
- Ornaments – Try to keep pets away. Broken glass ornaments cause cuts or other injuries, or ornaments can cause intestinal blockage or even poison your pet if eaten.
- Homemade ornaments – If you make ornaments out of food-based material, keep them out of reach.
- Tinsel and other holiday decorations also can be tempting for pets to eat. They can cause intestinal blockages, sometimes requiring surgery.
- Electric lights can cause burns if a curious pet chews the cords.
- Flowers and festive plants. Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are the common holiday plants that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who eat them. Poinsettias can be troublesome as well. The ASPCA offers lists of plants that are toxic to dogs and cats.
- Candles. Never leave a pet alone in a room with a lit candle; it could result in a burn and at worst, a fire.
When you leave the house, be sure to unplug trees and decorations, and of course extinguish candles while you’re out. Cats, dogs and other pets can be tempted to chew electrical cords if they’re bored. If you have a pet who you know is fascinated by the tree, don’t leave them access to the tree when you leave.
Parties & Gatherings
Christmas and the Holidays are a time when friends and family gather. Depending on your pet’s personality, visitors can cause anxiety or upset, as can the noise and excitement of holiday parties. Even pets that aren’t normally shy or anxious may become nervous in the hubbub that can accompany a holiday gathering.
- Make sure they have a safe, quiet, comfortable place inside. Give them access to a crate or a quiet room where they can retreat away from your guests. If your pet is particularly upset by visitors, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions to this common problem.
- Watch the doors. Even if your pets are comfortable around lots of people, watch them closely when people are coming and going. While you’re welcoming or saying goodbye to guests, your four-legged friend may make a run for it.
- ID Tags & Microchips. Make sure your pet has your up-to-date contact details on their collar, so if they do get out, people can help get them home. Also make sure your pet is microchipped, and that the contact details on file with the company are current.
- Guests with pets. If your pet is uncomfortable around other animals, or animals they don’t know, be sure to let your guests know not to bring their own pets. Some people insist on taking their pets everywhere because they believe all dogs are as chilled as their own!
Contact Compassionate Animal Care Today
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet this Holiday season, please talk to us, or your own veterinarian. Please call 480.774.6995 to schedule a clinic appointment with Compassionate Animal Care today, or call 602.359.2031 for a mobile vet appointment within the East Valley.