The winter holidays are intended to be a festive time of the year. Beginning with Halloween and wrapping up at the New Year, the wintertime holidays truly do form the season to be jolly. If you are like most people with pets in your home, you are inclined to include your companion animals, particularly cats and dogs, in the seasonal celebrations. With this in mind, there is a comprehensive set of safety strategies that you need to implement in order to keep your pet or pets safe during the winter holiday season.
In addition to keeping your pets safe, employing these tactics ensure that your home remains in good repair during the holidays. These strategies serve to ensure that the decorations you display during a particular holiday remain intact during the season as well.
Anchor the Tree
A Christmas tree presents one of the more potentially hazardous holiday decorations when it comes to pets in your home. Cats and dogs both are oftentimes inclined to meddle to a Christmas tree, including climbing on it or knocking it over. In addition, as is discussed more specifically in a moment, pets are also apt to abuse ornaments and lights places about a Christmas tree. This type of conduct can have highly negative consequences, including causing severe or even fatal injuries to pets.
Due to the potential dangers presented by a Christmas tree, you must make certain that it is securely anchored to lessen the chance of it being pushed over. You need to take care to place ornaments and even strings of Christmas lights on a tree in a manner that these items remain out of reach of your pets.
Tinsel must be avoided at all costs. Tinsel attracts pets, particularly cats. Although a cat or dog may begin by swatting at tinsel, ultimately a pet may chew on and even swallow it. Swallowing tinsel can have devastating health consequences, including blockage within the digestive system that can require surgery.
Ornaments Out of Reach
As mentioned a moment ago, ornaments need to be kept out of reach of pets. This includes both class and plastic ornaments. The reality is that ornaments made out of glass or plastic both have a propensity for breakage. The shards resulting from ornament breaking can be highly dangerous to pets as well as to human residents of a home as well.
No Mistletoe or Holly
Mistletoe and holly are poisonous. If a dog or cat, or a child, consumes mistletoe of holly, they can become very ill. Indeed, the potential exists that the consumption of mistletoe or holly can be fatal. If you want to feature these types of decorations in your home, select an artificial derivation. There are other plants that are poisonous as well. Make sure you confirm the safety of a particular plant before you introduce it into your residence during the wintertime holidays.
Supervise Candles and Fire
Lovely candles and a cozy fire in the fireplace enhance the look and feel of a home during the holiday season. Indeed, candles are an integral part of some seasonal celebrations, including Hanukkah. You do not need to eliminate candles and fireplace use all together but you must be on guard when these things are burning. You must never leave your pets in a room where candles or a fireplace are lit.
Electrical Wires and Batteries
Electrical wires and batteries must be kept out of reach of pets. Cats and dogs alike have a tendency to want to bite or chew on the thin wires associated with holiday lights. There are also cats and dogs with a propensity to try to chew on batteries. If a pet chews through a plugged-in electrical wire or manages to puncture a battery, the consequences can be life-threatening. In addition to keeping these items out of reach, unplug lights and any other decorative item connected to an outlet when not in use. Consider removing batteries from decorations when left unsupervised.
The need to prevent a cat or dog from eating chocolate is widely known. You should also avoid allowing your pets to eat other types of sweets during the holiday season. Although consuming many types of sweets will not have fatal consequences for a pet, they can become ill be munching on holiday goodies. The best rule of thumb to ensure a pet’s wellness during the wintertime holidays is to avoid allowing a furry loved one access to any type of confection or sweet.
There is nothing funny about giving a pet alcohol. Indeed, even a smaller amount of alcohol ingested by a pet can have serious and even fatal health consequences. Not only must you and your guests not provide a pet even a “taste” of booze.” you need to take care that a companion animal not “sneak a drink” of alcohol.
Limit Leftovers and Nibbles
Many pets are notorious beggars. Like most people, you may find it hard to deny your pet a leftovers and even nibbles of food from the table. Provided you take care to never feed your pet something known to be dangerous, a taste of “people food” or a limited amount of leftovers is acceptable in most cases. You need to take care to ensure that you don’t overdo in this regard.
Holiday celebrations can be noisy experiences. What humans interpret as festive exclamations and be frightening to pets. Holiday celebrations and noise is not something of concern only on Independence Day. You need to take care to minimize noise during the holiday season to limit anxiety and stress on the part of your pet or pets.
Pet Rules for Guests
If you will have guests in your home during the holiday season, you need to develop a clear set of guidelines or rules they must follow when it comes to your pets. You might even want to consider posting pet guidelines in your home. You can take this step in a friendly manner. For example, you might devise “12 Pet Rules for Christmas” based on the iconic tune “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
Private Space for a Pet
Pets will better endure the holiday season if you provide them with a private space of their own. For example, you can set aside a room in your residence to which pets can retreat as needed during a seasonal celebration.
Strive to Maintain Routines
The holiday season is a time when many daily and other routines are thrown to the wintry wind. When it comes to your pets, you need to strive to maintain as many of their routines as possible. Pets tend to be creatures of routine and habit. Thus, do your best to keep “normal” feeding, play, and sleep times whenever possible during the wintertime holiday season.
Don’t Forget Pets
Finally, when it comes to keeping your companion animals safe during the winter holidays, you must not forget about them. This sounds like a basic admonition. However, with shocking regularity people overlook some basic tasks when it comes to their pets during the holidays. For example, a person may let a pet outside to take care of his or her “business” and then forget to let them back into the house in a timely manner.
By paying attention to these important strategies, you will keep your pets safe and sound during the holiday season. Indeed, you will be able to structure activities in a manner that can even enhance your pet’s enjoyment of the holiday season.
Jessica Kane is a writer for Handicapped Pets, your most trusted source for dog wheelchairs and harnesses.