It’s the most wonderful time of the year! At least, that what the song says. The holiday season is upon us. Gifts, decorations, lights, festivals, food, family gatherings. These are all wonderful things this time of year, but there are some holiday hazards that can put our pets at risk.
1. Decorations. One of my favorite things is decorating for the holidays. Dogs and cats might have a different opinion of our decorations. Strings of lights, tinsel, Christmas trees, and candles are all tempting treats to chew on. Chewing on electrical cords can cause burns in the mouth or electrocution and is especially common in curious kittens and puppies. Tinsel, ornaments, and strings of popcorn can be ingestion hazards for cats and dogs alike. Burning candles or potpourri can not only be a burn hazard, but the odors can affect sensitive cats with asthma.
2. Goodies. Cookies and chocolates and fruit baskets, oh my! Keep goodies out of the reach of pets. Keep turkey and ham bones away from pets and make sure the trash is securely closed so Fido can’t go dumpster diving when no one is looking! Don’t put wrapped food items under the tree. Dogs and cats have been known to unwrap packages and indulge. That goes for alcoholic beverages too!
3. Guests. Family and friends tend to gather for the holidays. Whether these are big family dinners, relatives visiting, or neighbors popping over for holiday get-togethers, guests can be stressful on pets. Make sure Fido and Fluffy have safe spots where they can get away from loud visitors or boisterous children.
4. Fireworks. New Year’s Eve can be particularly scary for pets. Be sure guests keep doors closed so pets don’t escape. Allow pets to be in a place where they feel safe and secure. Some animals benefit from calming supplements or medication, so please make an appointment with your veterinarian if you think your pet needs additional help.
Holidays are a fun, frantic time for everyone. Remember to stop and enjoy your friends and family, including your furry friends. From all of us at Stevenson Ranch Veterinary Center, have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
Stevenson Ranch Veterinary Center is located at 25832 Hemingway Avenue in Santa Clarita. For more information, please call 661-799-0655 and visit www.srvc.com
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