As the holidays approach, the safety of our four-legged friends and family should be a priority. While you are decorating your home with trees, ornaments, and lights and stocking up on special holiday treats, keep in mind that these activities could bring about holiday hazards for your pets.
Continue reading for holiday hazards to watch out for, recommendations for calming products for pets, and a few final thoughts on things to consider before giving pets as gifts.
5 Holiday Hazards to Watch Out For
1) The Tree
If you have a live tree, keep the water stand covered. Pine sap mixed with water makes a poisonous drink for your pets. The smell of a live or artificial tree may cause your pet to urine mark it. It may also help to bring the tree into an isolated indoor room for a day or so that it smells more like “home.” Secure trees to a wall or ceiling hook with a sturdy fishing line. This will help prevent the tree from toppling over should your pet jump on it or accidentally knock it over.
Check out a product called the PetSafe Scat Mat that may help.
2) The Decorations
Pick up any ornament hooks, tinsel, or ribbon that fall on the floor. Your pet could experience serious internal injuries if it ingests any of these items. If you have indoor holiday lights, be sure they don’t hang so low that your pet could become entangled in them. Remember to unplug the lights when you’re not home and supervise your pet.
3) The Food
Keep holiday treats and candies out of your pet’s reach. Remember wrapped gifts under your tree that may be food items. Certain foods, especially in excess, can make your pet sick. Chocolate, onions, raisins, and alcohol can be fatal to dogs.
4) The Plants
Greens such as balsam and pine, while not strictly toxic, also can cause minor irritation for munching pets. Poinsettias, mistletoe berries, and some other plants and popular holiday flowers can cause serious stomach upset for pets.
5) The Noise
Provide a quiet refuge for your pet. With all the holiday festivities, your pet will need a “time out” from visiting family and friends. A comfortable crate is one solution or a room with a “Do Not Disturb” sign is another. Give your pet time and space to settle down or take a nap.
Calming Products For Pets
Here are a few calming products for dogs:
- Heavenly Hounds Relaxation Squares for Dogs
- AromaDog Fleece Dog Toys
- BlackWing Farms Calm Balm
- Verde Canine Calming Tasty Herbal Chews
- ThunderEase Dog Calming Spray and/or ThunderEase Dog Calming Diffuser Kit
For cats, Comfort Zone Plug-In with Feliway, ThunderEase Cat Calming Spray, and/or ThunderEase Cat Calming Diffuser Kit are great options to help calm and ease your cat. If you are looking for a product for both cats and dogs, consider NeuraPet Dog & Cat Wellness Drops or HomeoPet Anxiety Relief, which can be used on multiple types of pets.
Before Giving a Pet as a Gift
Please keep in mind that one of the busiest and most crowded times of the year in animal shelters is after the holidays as unwanted pets fill the shelters. Before giving a pet, make absolutely sure the recipient wants a pet, and what kind of pet they prefer.
Better yet, give a certificate that says you will help them find the pet of their dreams. Not only will you be certain they are getting a pet they want and are ready for, but you will also be giving the gift of your time and company.
For more information on things to consider when you’re thinking about giving a pet as a gift, read 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Give Pets As Gifts.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Happy Holidays! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Renee Jones-Lewis is a certified professional dog trainer, having received instruction from canine behaviorist Dr. Pamela Reid, plus nationally acclaimed trainers: Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, and Jean Donaldson, to name a few. She serves as a Pet Marketing and Canine Specialist for Jeffers Pet. Questions about this article, training, or non-emergent health concerns are welcome.
Renee can be reached most days from 9am – 5pm Central Time (Mon-Fri) at 1-800-JEFFERS (533-3377) ext 381 or by email rsjones@jefferspet. com.
Information given here is meant to be helpful and/or educational. It is, in no way, intended to supersede, challenge or supplant the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a licensed veterinarian.
Last Updated on December 22, 2020 by Rachel Champion