It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As you prepare for the upcoming festivities this holiday season, be sure that your furry friends stay safe and happy with these tips.
Choose your decorations carefully.
- Avoid decorating with toxic seasonal plants. Pets that ingest holly can suffer from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal problems as well as cardiovascular problems and many types of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Consider artificial plants instead.
- Cat parents in particular should avoid tinsel. Tinsel is tantalizing to cats - they love to bat it around and carry it in their mouths. But it is easily swallowed, potentially resulting in an obstructed digestive tract. This can cause severe vomiting, dehydration, and possible surgery.
- Hang glass ornaments out of your pet’s reach. If they were to break, the resulting shards could cause serious damage to your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.
- Be aware of fire hazards. Never leave your pet unattended around an open flame such as a candle or fireplace. While a lit Christmas tree alone isn’t a fire hazard when used correctly, be sure not to overload your extension cord, which could result in a spark that causes a fire.
Avoid holiday food dangers.
- Make your pet a special treat rather than sharing your leftovers. Ham and gravy are very dangerous for dogs, as are all foods with a high fat content. They can lead to pancreatitis, which can be an emergency life-threatening situation if not caught early. Warning signs include vomiting and lethargy. Veterinarians often see cases of pancreatitis during the holiday season due to owners "wanting their dogs to have a good Christmas meal", not realizing that even small amounts of homemade gravy can be incredibly harmful. Onions, grapes, and raisins are all poisonous as well to your pet. (For pet-friendly homemade treat recipes, check out our last blog)
- Avoid sharing desserts with your pet as well. Chocolate, particularly baking chocolate, can be harmful and the artificial sweetened xylitol, often found in gum and sugar-free baked goods, can be deadly.
- Keep your unattended adult holiday beverages out of paw’s reach. Pets who ingest alcohol can become weak, ill, and can lapse into a coma, possibly resulting in death.
Prepare for holiday house guests.
- Make sure your guests’ bags are safely stored away. Curious pets can easily find a package of gum or a bottle of pills in a guest’s bag and ingest something toxic.
- Provide your furry friend with a quiet retreat. He or she may easily become overwhelmed, particularly with large groups of unfamiliar faces in his or her home.
- Watch the exists to your home, particularly when guests are exiting or leaving. As you welcome friends and family, it’s easy for your dog or cat to run out the door and quickly get lost.
- Make sure your pets are wearing their identification tags and are microchipped. This will greatly increase the chances that if they do sneak out, they are returned.
If you’re leaving town without your pet, consider hiring a pet sitter rather than taking him or her to a boarding facility.
- A pet sitting service is less stressful for your pet. For your pet, separation from you is stressful and can lead to health problems. Keeping him or her in familiar surroundings eases stress levels.
- Pet sitting is more convenient. Many boarding facilities are closed in the evenings and on the weekend. By hiring a pet sitter, you don’t have to worry about finding the time to drop off and pick up your pet and are reunited with your pet immediately upon your return.
- Pet sitters can deter crime in your absence. Pet sitters can pick up the newspaper and the mail, eliminating signs that no one is home.
- Pet sitting can be less expensive, particularly if you have multiple pets. Most pet sitting services charge the same rate per visit, even with additional pets. (Chasing Tails charges the same rate for up to four pets and then charges a nominal fee for additional pets.) A boarding facility will charge you per pet, potentially leading to much higher costs.
Chasing Tails provides a variety of pet sitting options for your furry friends. We offer dog walking services, daily visits, and overnight care. Should a medical issue arise in your absence, our mobile veterinary service provides 24-hour care. Learn more about our pet sitting services here or give us a call at 979-217-1694.
Chasing Tails wishes you and your furry friends a safe and holiday season!
Sources: http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ktudor/2013/oct/which-is-better-pet-boarding-pet-sitting-30981#, https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips