With Christmas just hours away, the kitchens of our homes are bustling with activity as we prepare the ham, turkey, great cake and other festive foods, leaving little time to consider our pets’ dietary needs.
Below are some top tips for making sure our furry companions are happy and healthy this season.
● Skip the Sweets: By now, you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising pet will go to munch on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
● Leave the Leftovers: Fatty, spicy foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills.
● Careful with Cocktails: If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
● Selecting Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Stick with indestructible chew toys, Kongs stuffed with healthy foods, or chew treats designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the riskiest toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer.
Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering
● House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
● Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
● A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or a separate room away from the hubbub.
● New Year’s Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.