With the holiday season upon us, Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare Association reminds pet owners to consider their pets’ safety when decking the halls. Holiday decorations, seasonal plants and festive treats can sometimes be harmful for pets.
To keep your pets safe and healthy this holiday season, keep the following tips in mind:
Sharing holiday goodies with your favorite animal companion could be dangerous. Too much fatty or rich food can lead to digestive problems. Some foods, such as onions, grapes/raisins and chocolate, can be toxic.
Instead, indulge your pets with a special pet food or treat in an enrichment toy or game, which can provide hours of entertainment.
Christmas trees can also be hazardous, particularly for climbing cats, so make sure your tree is secure, preferably in a corner.
Dangling tree ornaments can seem like great toys to cats and dogs. Keep dangerous ornaments such as glass and tinsel (which can be a choking hazard) on high branches, out of the reach of little paws. Chords from lights should be taped down or otherwise secured to prevent pets from chewing on them.
Keep an eye on items under the tree, too! Don't let pets drink water from the base of a live tree, because it may be stagnant and contain bacteria. Ribbons and bows can be a choking hazard, and any packages filled with edible gifts are likely to be discovered.
A number of holiday season plants are toxic or can cause digestive upset to pets if nibbled or eaten, including amaryllis, evergreens, holly, ivy, juniper, lilies, mistletoe and poinsettias. Be sure all plants are kept out of reach of pets.
Burning candles should be placed high, out of your pet’s way. A dog’s tail wag or a cat’s curiosity could be devastating. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns.
Our pets can get just as stressed with noise and activity. Give your pet a quiet, secure place with a bed and their favorite toys to escape the commotion. Put food, water and a litter box for cats in the space.
Holiday distractions may make it easier for pets to escape through open doors. Keep your pets safely indoors and always make sure they're wearing current ID tags, with a phone number, and that their microchip information is up to date, just in case! If your pet is not currently microchipped, Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare Association offers $20 microchipping by appointment, just call 719-680-2385 to schedule. Contact your local shelter immediately if your pet goes missing.
Pets thrive on routine and increased activity during the holiday season can upset that routine. Keep your pet on their regular schedule for feeding and exercise, and be sure they get plenty of love and attention from you!
Finally, holiday sweaters may seem irresistible, but if your furry friend does not enjoy dressing up, let them be themselves.