Christmas is right around the corner! And with the joys this upcoming holiday week brings, often emergency veterinary clinics as well as the Pet Poison Hotline receive an increase in visits and calls. Why does this happen?
Given the extra activity and fun decorations, curious pets often find many ways to keep themselves busy while you are entertaining, cleaning, cooking, wrapping, shopping , etc. How can you be prepared?
1. Handbags. Just as your guests arrive and put down their bags, curious pets often find themselves seeking out the treasures within. Unfortunately, gum containing Xylitol, prescription medication, and over-the-counter meds, are poisonous to dogs and cats. Have a plan for a safe storage area for your guests coats and bags—one that keeps them out of sight and reach from your furry friends.
2. Table food and well-intentioned guests. One look at a dog’s pleading eyes, and a well-meaning family member or friend may want to share his meal. Not only is it hard to know HOW MUCH food your pet is consuming, but also WHAT he is consuming. Table scraps, bones, foods with raisins and currants, etc. can lead to a very sick pet. Remind your guests that Fido has a very special and tasty diet, no matter what his eyes tell them. Even better, during mealssecure your pet in an area away from the holiday food—which will also keep those unattended or forgotten plates of food less of a danger to your pet.
3. Noise, conversations, and countdowns. As you are sharing holiday cheer with your family members and friends, keep in mind that the extra noise may be overwhelming to your pets. Layer on New Year’s Countdowns and you may notice a higher level of stress occurring in your pets—loud popping noises can be quite terrifying. Again, a safe-retreat area away from your fun may be just what your pet needs to relax and regroup.
4. What about for those pet-loving friends? For those guests that are true animal lovers, give them a job they might really like! Instead of allowing them to help with the dishes, hand them a leash and let them take Fido out around the block. Everyone will be happy!
Buffalo Trace Veterinary Service wishes you a very safe and merry holiday season!