iStock_000053053058_LargeIt’s almost contradictory that a season replete with joy, family time, and indulgences is also rife with dangers. While it can be exciting to get swept away in all the festivities, lights, and gingerbread house contests, it’s important to remain in tune with your four-legged friend to best protect him or her from illness or holiday-related calamity. Plus, your pet may be wondering when you plan to slow down a bit for a nice lasting cuddle or some other version of quality time, say, a long walk or laser chase.

In response, we’ve prepared the following guidelines for your pet and the holidays so you can close out this year in safety and peace.

Sleigh Bells And Other Delights

Many pet owners are lucky enough to strike a balance between a dazzlingly decorated home and an obedient pet. However, for good measure, it’s always a good idea to remember:

  • The fresh fir or pine tree that’s newly installed in the foyer can be irresistible to a curious pet – especially if it’s decorated with food or shiny tinsel. To avoid the necessity of emergency care, try to prevent your pet from ingesting any fallen needles or drinking the contaminated water from the tree stand. On the same note, anchor your tree in case your pet tries to climb it, and try not to use glass ornaments that, if broken and consumed, can cause serious injury to your pet.
  • Keep presents away from your pet, if possible. The risks posed by yards of curly ribbon are incalculable, as are those associated with bows, tape, and wrapping around food baskets.
  • Many traditional holiday plants, such as holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia can cause a pet’s poisoning in varying degrees. Consult this list if you ever have doubts about what you’re bringing home, and keep plants off the floor so your pet cannot easily score a nibble.

Your Pet And The Holidays

If you are hosting a holiday gathering, discourage your guests from offering tasty tidbits to your pet, and never leave out hazardous human foods that tempt your pet from just one little taste. Above all, these poisonous foods should be strictly prohibited:

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Alcohol
  • Raisins or grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Uncooked dough
  • Rich, fatty food

Other Considerations

Have you ever considered boarding your pet? We’d love the opportunity to impress you with our compassionate and nurturing care of your puppy or kitten or senior pet while you host or travel this holiday season.

If you have spent time investing in crate training, your cat or dog may very well prefer to retreat there during all the holiday hoopla. Otherwise, a quiet room is just the place for your pet who may easily become overwhelmed by noise and strangers. Do keep in mind to update your pet’s microchip, if applicable, in the case your pet darts out during the festivities.

Downtime Spent Wisely

Between holiday gatherings, shopping sprees, or frenzied bake-off’s, your pet may be missing you and the time you previously made for just him or her. If you can (and your pet agrees), try to include your pet in some of your holiday affairs. Just be sure to keep him or her leashed and in control among other animals. Alternatively, set aside some for bathing, grooming, or playing with your pet to truly show how much you care and value him or her.

There are so many ways your pet and the holidays are a good match, and with your astute guidance, the safest and happiest holiday season is all but guaranteed! Don’t forget to contact us with any questions. Happy holidays to you and yours from all your friends at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital!