The holiday season brings joy and warmth, but amid the twinkling lights and festive decor, it’s easy to overlook potential hazards to our furry companions. At Bayside Animal Hospital, we’re committed to pet safety. We want to guide you through December pet care essentials, ensuring your holiday remains merry and safe for all family members—including the four-legged ones.
Identifying Holiday Hazards
It might surprise you how many traditional holiday items pose risks to your pets. Here are a couple to be mindful of:
- Holiday Plants: Poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly are not just holiday staples; they are also toxic to both dogs and cats.
- Ornaments: While they make your tree look dazzling, glass or plastic ornaments can be a choking hazard if your pet decides to play with them.
Beware of Festive Foods—What’s Safe and What’s Not
The holiday table is a bounty of deliciousness that tempts not just humans but our pets as well. But it’s important to know that many festive foods are dangerous to our furry friends. Foods like chocolate, grapes, and foods seasoned with garlic or onions can cause anything from mild gastrointestinal distress to severe poisoning.
Dangerous Foods to Avoid:
- Chocolate: Highly toxic to both dogs and cats.
- Grapes and Raisins: These can lead to kidney failure in dogs.
- Garlic and Onions: Harmful to both cats and dogs, leading to anemia.
Pet-Safe Treat Options:
Here are some treats you can safely share with your pet this holiday season:
- Sliced Carrots: A crunchy, healthy option that many dogs love.
- Plain, Cooked Turkey: As long as it’s boneless and skinless, a small bit can be a tasty treat.
- Blueberries: Packed with antioxidants, these are safe for dogs and cats in moderation.
By steering clear of dangerous foods and opting for pet-safe treats, you’ll make the holiday season enjoyable and safe for your furry companion.
Tips for Pet-Proofing Your Home
Now that we’ve identified some risks let’s discuss solutions.
- Create a Pet-Safe Zone: Designate an area where your pet can feel secure, away from the hustle and bustle. Fill it with their favorite toys, a cozy bed, and fresh water.
- Pet-Proof Your Tree: Consider anchoring it securely to a wall to prevent tipping, especially if you have a curious cat who might try to climb it. Also, place fragile ornaments and tinsel higher up on the tree, out of your pet’s reach, to eliminate choking or ingestion hazards.
- Use Pet-Safe Plants: Consider replacing hazardous plants with pet-friendly alternatives such as roses, white orchids, or the festive, flowering Christmas Cactus, also known as schlumbergera.
Prioritize December Pet Care
The holidays aren’t just about avoiding hazards—they’re also a wonderful opportunity to treat your pets. Whether it’s a festive toy or a new cozy bed, a little extra love goes a long way.
But the best gift you can give your pet is good health. Schedule a wellness check to keep them in tip-top shape throughout the season. Or consider signing your pet up for one of our tailored wellness plans for a lifetime of health and wellness.
What If An Accident Happens?
Accidents happen, even when you’re vigilant about pet safety. Contact us immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested something harmful or shows signs of distress. Fast action can make all the difference in outcomes.
Navigating the Holidays with Professional Guidance
Your pet’s safety and well-being are our top priorities at Bayside Animal Hospital. The holiday season should be a time of joy for all members of your family. By identifying holiday hazards and taking steps for pet-proofing your home, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring a joyful and safe holiday experience for everyone.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have concerns about holiday hazards or general pet safety. Request an appointment online or give us a call. Our team of friendly and knowledgeable veterinarians and staff is here to guide you through the holiday season and beyond.