Besides food, there are many other household hazards you should be aware of during the holidays.
Cats and dogs alike can be tempted to play with decorations or chew on string lights dangling from the tree. These can lead to choking, strangulation, cuts, and many other injuries.
Take care when putting up your tree. Avoid placing hanging decorations near the bottom of your tree, and secure lights to branches with twist ties or pipe cleaners. And remember to always unplug the tree when your pets are home alone.
Plants like poinsettias, mistletoe, and lilies can all make your pet sick and cause gastrointestinal upset. If you have these in your home, keep them in a spot your pets can’t access them, like a high shelf.
Alternatively, stick to synthetic, pet-safe plants, or choose decorative outdoor holiday shrubs instead.
Tinsel and Ribbon
Stringy decorations may look like a cat’s dream — but they can be your worst nightmare.
Tinsel, ribbon, scraps of wrapping paper, and other stringy plastic or fabric can result in choking or blockages — as well as costly procedures that you didn’t plan for. Even if your pet manages to pass the objects, it can be very uncomfortable or painful for them.
Providing interactive toys like puzzles and food dispensing toys are a great way to keep their mind active and make them less tempted to go after the things they shouldn’t. Cats love feather or rope cat toys, and no dog can have too many interactive toys to keep them stimulated.
Photo courtesy: ZippyPaws
The holidays can be especially stressful on pets as their routines may be disrupted and they face new situations and people. You can reduce your pet’s stress over the holidays by planning in advance.
Try to stick to their feeding and walk times as close as possible. When you have visitors or there are fireworks, make sure your pets have their own place to eat and lie down away from the commotion. To keep them calm and reduce anxiety, your pet may also benefit from a calming vest, natural calming supplements, or even pheromone diffusers like Feliway or Adaptil.