The holidays are a time for family, friends and festivities, but you won’t be celebrating if you’re spending the night at the emergency vet clinic with a sick pet. Maricopa County Animal Care & Control (MCACC) offers some advice and safety tips to keep you and your pet happy this holiday season.
Food is in abundance during family gatherings but resist the urge to share with your pets. Human food is too high in fat for our dogs and cats. Most pet owners know that chocolate can be toxic to pets, but beware of other types of candy. Colorful candy wrappers can be tempting and if swallowed, may create blockages in your pet’s intestines. Don’t assume all vegetables are safe for your dog or cat—onions, garlic and scallions can lead to toxic anemia in pets. Be sure to ask your guests not to feed table scraps to your pets and ask them to keep food (and alcohol) out of paws reach!
When decorating your home for the holidays, try to look at things from your pet’s perspective. Are those glass ornaments hanging on low branches? Is that candle’s flame too tempting for curious cats? Does the shiny tinsel attract too much attention from furry family members? Glass embedded in pet’s paws, burnt fur and tinsel in the intestinal tract are just a few accidents you can avoid if you pet proof your home for the holidays. Consider using ornaments that won’t shatter or leave the bottom branches of your tree undecorated. Never leave your pet unattended in a room with lit candles. Avoid using tinsel or other types of décor that can be easily swallowed by a rambunctious pet.
We’ve all seen the image of the adorable puppy peeking out from under the lid of a gift wrapped box, but MCACC asks that you don’t give pets as gifts. Adopting a dog or cat is a very personal choice and is something best done by the person wanting to adopt. Consider presenting your loved one with a gift basket filled with dog or cat toys, bedding, food, and the promise to visit a local shelter. Not only are you giving the purrfect gift – you’re also saving a life!
If you plan to host parties or festivities at your home, it’s imperative that your dog or cat be wearing identification. The constant opening and closing of the front door makes it easy for pets to slip out unnoticed. If your animal does get out and ends up at the shelter, current ID will help ensure that you are reunited with your four-legged family member.
Finally, this is a busy time of year and humans aren’t the only ones who can feel stressed. The hustle and bustle of houseguests and parties can cause our pets to become a bit anxious. If possible, give them a spare room where they can escape the crowd and chill out. Be sure they have some of their favorite toys, bed, food and water. Turn on the television or radio to drown out the sounds of the festivities.
Be thankful for your pets this holiday season. Their unconditional love is one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive.
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