Celebrating the holidays with your pets can be a joyous occasion, but it can also be a dangerous time. Though it’s fun to have your furry friend by your side while wrapping presents or decorating or simply cozying up by the fireplace, sometimes those little things can lead to a bigger problem. Long standing traditions can pose a risk to many pets during the holiday seasons.
Plants such as poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, and lilies can cause gastrointestinal obstruction and even toxicity in pets if ingested. This can be life threatening and can lead to emergency surgery as well.
Most people know that chocolate is toxic to pets, but what most don’t know if the length your pets will go to find that chocolate wrapped under the tree or up on a counter top. Grapes, raisens, macadamia nuts, onions, and sugar free foods can cause a variety of health issues like low blood sugar and liver toxicity. There are also table scraps and bones, which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. To find out more food that can be harmful to your pets, check out this great article from the ASPCA https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets
They may seem harmless, but to a cat that tinsel looks like a toy. Cats and dogs tend to be curious about new eye catching decorations around your house. Ingestion of things like tinsel, cardboard, wrappings, or ornaments, can lead to gastrointestinal blockage. Not to mention, lights and wires can lead to electrical shock if chewed on.
Pets as Presents
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), around 6.5 million companion animals are surrendered to community animal shelters nationwide, including during and directly after the holidays. Pets shouldn’t be given as a present. They should be made as a family or personal decision. Though the intention might be well, it often ends up the recipient not having time or ability to care for the new pet.
Although you might be ready for guests to come into your home, your pet may not be. Anxious pets can struggle with large gatherings of people in the home. Some options for anxious pets are to make sure they have a safe room to retreat to or board them at a boarding facility. It is also important to make sure pets can run out the door as people come and go. Guests also tend to like to give into the begging eyes of pets and treat them to human food or an overabundance of treats. If your pets do stay in the house during your gatherings, it is best to encourage your guests to not succumb to their sweet begging behavior.