- Decorate with your pet in mind. If you have a dog that you know likes to chew things, be careful where you place electrical cords or lights. Cats may also chew on tinsel and garland so be careful of what type of decorations you use.
- Consider how friendly with strangers, especially children, your pet is. Many children have a pet of their own. They may be use to hugging their dog or carrying their cat around the house. If your pet is not accustomed to children though, he may not appreciate strange little people coming up to him. Don’t put your pet in a situation where he feels he has to bite or scratch to protect himself. If your pet is not use to children, put him in a room where he will not have to interact with them. While you may want your pet to get along with kids, the hustle and bustle of Christmas is not the time to work on socializing him.
- Make sure any of your guests’ purses are kept up where your pet can’t reach them. There are many things commonly carried in purses that can be dangerous or even fatal to animals. Medicines, sugar free gum, lighters and chocolate are just a few. Be sure to put all presents people bring up out of your pet’s reach as well, since you won’t know what is in them. Make sure your guests know not to give food to your pet. Even if it’s an item that a small amount of wouldn’t hurt your pet, a little bit from everyone could add up to big problems.
- Some plants commonly seen during the holiday can be poisonous to pets. Poinsettias, while not as toxic as once thought to be, can cause mouth and stomach irritation. Other plants to avoid are lilies, Christmas cactus, holly and mistletoe.
- If you enjoy lighting candles, be sure to place them in areas where they can’t be accidentally knocked over.
We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season, and with a little care and common sense, you can avoid an emergency trip to the vet, and you and your pet can have a fun and happy time at home.