There’s no place like (a safe) home for the holidays. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your pets stay safe and healthy this holiday season.
- Secure the Tree
Fido might be wondering why he can’t bring sticks in the house, but you are bringing in an entire tree. Be sure to secure the Christmas tree to keep it from crashing down if he decides it looks like a giant chew toy. Keep tinsel and other decorations high from wet noses and curious paws.
- Light it Up… Safely
Holiday lights also mean extra cords and plugs. Take some extra time to secure them by covering them or taping them down. This will help prevent shocks, burns or more serious injuries to your pets.
- Avoid Festive Foods
Tis’ the season for indulging, but not for Rover and Whiskers. Alcohol, caffeine, candy, xylitol, chocolate, eggnog, garlic, onions, nutmeg, nuts, raisins, grapes, and poultry bones are dangerous holiday foods (and drinks). Stick to a normal diet for your pets with tried and true treats that their bodies are used to. Contact the ASPCA Animal Control Center to learn more.
- Poisonous Plants
Mistletoe, holly berries, poinsettia plants, amaryllis and daffodils can be poisonous to pets.
- Create a Safe Space
With the hustle and bustle of holiday parties and guests coming and going, be sure to create a quiet place for your pet to relax in.
- Identification, Please
Holidays and long weekends are a time when many pets get lost. Be cautious about guests, open doors and gates, and the person who cares for your pet while you are away. Make sure your pet has a secure collar with tags with more than one phone number. Be sure your pet is microchipped and the information is current in the microchip registry database.
Pets as Gifts
While a puppy under the Christmas tree may sound like a good idea right now, it can often lead to big dog problems that no one has time for in a few months. A successful adoption requires time and thought and should not be an impulse purchase.
Think about volunteering at a local shelter first. You may fall in love with a pet that has been waiting for their fur-ever family to come along.
If your heart is set on a purebred dog, look for breed-specific rescues.