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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Planning for Your Pet

The holidays are a time of celebration, good, abundant food and festive decorations, what could be bad about it? Well, for our pets, a lot. When you plan for the holidays make sure to keep your pets in mind.

First off a regular diet is important. Just because it is the holiday season and many delicious foods are available that doesn’t mean that your pet should partake in the human munchies. It may be okay to offer your cat or dog a small sliver of turkey as a treat but anything more or anything else could cause problems. Remember that some things we eat can be poisonous to pets such as, onions, garlic and grapes. Besides, once you start offering human food to pets you encourage them to beg at the table or at your chair side or anywhere else you might be eating.

Second, visitors are likely during this season and bring their own dangers for your pets. Some visitors may not like pets so you’ll need to accommodate their wishes if you want to have a happy time during their visit. Keep the pet in a room by itself but make frequent visits to the room to keep your pet happy. Besides, your pet will probably feel better away from all the human festivities. During the celebrations the doors will likely be opening and closing a lot too so your pet will be safest in its own room. Provide all the comforts your pet could want in this room such as a soft place to lie down, food and water and of course a safe toy to occupy him.

Other considerations are the things your visitors are likely to bring with them. For instance, might they bring their own pets? And will your pet get along with the visiting animals? Your overnight guests may bring another hazard to your household: medications. Be sure that their medications are safely out of reach from your pets. And plants: many plants are hazardous to pets, especially lilies. Seasonal plants such as Poinsettias can cause serious stomach upsets and bring on a visit to the emergency clinic if ingested. Keep all new plants up and away from pets until you can check to see if they are poisonous to pets.

Third, decorations make the holidays so special but they can cause serious harm to your pets if broken and/or ingested. Tinsel is one of the worst types of decorations for your pets. If swallowed it can become tangled in or even cut through the stomach or intestines. Broken glass is just as dangerous if ingested but can also cause painful cuts if stepped on. Remember, your pets are running around barefoot. Ribbons and bows are likewise dangerous if swallowed or can become wrapped around toes or feet. And remember the electrical cords and appliances. Pets love to chew on cords and electrocute themselves. If you use space heaters or similar appliances be certain to keep your pets away from them. They could be burned by them or knock them over and cause a fire. The preservatives in Christmas tree water can be extremely toxic to your pet so cover the pan in some way to keep pets away from it.

And finally if you haven’t done so before now maybe this is the best time to get your pet micro-chipped. Open doors are common even on the coldest days as you greet guests to your parties, as you lug in all those presents or as the kids come and go from the snow filled out-of-doors.

Many dangers await our pets in this season of celebrations but with thoughtful planning they can enjoy the festivities safely.


  1. Andrea, welcome to blogging! I look forward to reading your posts. I wish I could sign up to receive your posts automatically, but I'll have to keep aware and remember to check back now and then.

    I also enjoyed the article about Lady Butterfly.

  2. Thanks for the welcome! I always follow your blog as well.