With the Holidays upon us, it’s important to not forget about our furry and feathered friends. During the Holidays it can be easy to overlook potential hazards for our pets.For instance, Poinsettias, Holly and Mistletoe are toxic plants if eaten by cats and dogs. Chocolate, artificial sweeteners, grapes and onions are also poisonous for furry companions.
Many people include their pets in their festivities and plans. In doing so, it’s important to understand basic animal body language so you’re better able to read your pet’s mood. Many animals prefer a quiet spot, away from commotion and people they may not know. Give your pets a safe haven that they can retreat to. Provide them with enrichment toys to keep them entertained and stimulated. If they need a distraction, you can give them compounded pet medication if needed. Consult experts from a veterinary clinic before giving them one.
Try to keep to your pet’s normal schedule as much as possible during the Holidays. If your dog is used to being walked daily, continue taking him on his scheduled walk. If your cat normally enjoys some cuddle time in the morning, be sure to allow for those extra few moments with her.
For bird owners, be careful to not use air fresheners, scented candles or potpourri, many of which are dangerously toxic for birds. When heated, many non-stick cooking pots and pans emit toxics into the air that are dangerous for your bird as well. Be sure that your bird is in a separate area of the house when cooking and that your kitchen has been well ventilated before bringing the bird back into the area.
Keep an eye on Holiday decorations. Cats, dogs, bunnies and birds often find shiny decorations to be interesting and fun. Bunnies love to chew through cords, cats enjoy tinsel, dogs and birds like plucking ornaments off the tree and then chewing them into tiny bits that they may or may not ingest.
Lastly, it’s best to not feed your pets many leftovers, if any. Most Holiday dishes are rich in ingredients and contain a lot of sweeteners, sodium and fats, all of which are not healthy for your pets. If you have some lean meat leftover, you could use a small amount of it to stuff a favorite enrichment toy or use cut up bits as training treats. No big meals for Fido or Fluffy though, they could get sick and put a damper on the Holiday fun!
Keep your pets safe this Holiday season and everyone will be happy!