It’s holiday time again, full of celebrating, travel, and lots of food.
While that’s fun for you, it may not be so fun for your pet. This is the season that requires extra care to make sure your pet is safe from related health hazards.
First and foremost - food. Yes, there will be lots of table scraps, but they can be harmful to your pet. Chocolate is known to be toxic to dogs and cats, says the American Veterinary Medical Association. Keep sweets away from pets, too. The artificial sweetener xylitol, which is used widely now, can cause liver failure. That turkey that you so love does not love your pet. It can cause pancreatitis, as can many other fat-laden foods popular at holiday time. Put scraps in the trash and put the trash out of pets’ reach.
Your holiday decorations can be also hazardous to your pet’s health, even your Christmas tree, which can be knocked over if you don’t anchor it. Additionally, says AVMA, avoid putting additives in your tree water that make it stay green longer. Keep ornaments and lights out of your pet’s reach. Eating broken glass can cause serious harm to pets and chewing through wires can cause electrical burns. Nix lit candles and potpourris, as well.
If you have visitors over, make sure your pet has a quiet place away from the crowd, and always let your visitors know in advance you have a pet, advises AVMA. Make sure your pet can’t escape with all the coming and going.
Finally, if you’re traveling with your pet during the holidays, never leave him or her alone in a vehicle. If you’re flying ask your veterinarian if your pet can travel by air safely. If you’re leaving your pet behind, consider a professional pet sitter who will cater to your pet’s specific needs.