It’s that busy time of the year again. Everyone is busy buying gifts, planning big meals, and on the lookout for cute and ugly sweaters for the family. If you are a first-time pet parent, then you could be very excited to spend your first holiday with your pooch or feline. But it is important to know that the season of joy can also be a season of concern for pet owners. If you are not careful, you could be spending the holiday cheer in your local vet hospital.
Sometimes, pets can easily get stressed out when going on holiday travels or for being around new people. Others can get sick due to the number of treats they can sneak in while everyone is busy socializing. For some pets, they can get into trouble and end up with a costly pet emergency.
Indeed, parenting a pet is nowhere easy. But there are many precautions you can keep in mind to make the holiday season less stressful for you and your pet. Here are a few ways to ensure your pet’s health, safety, and sanity during the holidays.
Be Mindful of How You Decorate the House
Pets are like kids who can cause trouble in the most unlikely ways. The last thing you want is your pet getting sick or hurt because of the holiday decorations you worked so hard to invest in. But then, just because your new furry friend is not much a chewer already meant they will no longer take a liking to your Christmas tree, stockings, tinsels, etc.
To be on the safe side, keep decorations out of their reach. You can choose to let a Christmas light installation contractor do the honors of hanging your Christmas lights. They can make sure everything is settled right when you need it and not worry about the safety aspect of the holiday decorating your home.
If possible, skip using seasonal plants to decorate the house as mistletoe, poinsettias, and hollies can be poisonous to pets. Ensure the fireplace is secured to keep dogs away from fire starter logs. Also, make sure you never leave candles unattended especially when pets are allowed to roam around the house.
Also, don’t forget to secure your Christmas tree. Cats love jumping on Christmas trees while dogs can get tangled on the lights or each the tinsel hanging off the tree. Keep ornaments out of their reach and tape all indoor wires of your holiday lights to avoid electrical executions.
Tell Guests Not to Feed Your Pets Without Your Consent
Your holiday guests can also be pet lovers, but that does not mean everyone knows that they are not supposed to give pets a tasty treat while you are not looking. Certain human foods can be dangerous to dogs and can cause an upset stomach, serious health issues, and even death. You don’t want your pooch to end up in the hospital just because a friend gave leftovers under the table or because a niece fed him with candy.
Ensure that your pooch doesn’t have access to any food that is dangerous to them. You don’t want to leave them unattended knowing they can easily reach food items on the table that can put them at risk. If you doubt your guests will abide by your rules, give your pooch a room where he can rest or play while you’re busy entertaining your guests.
Consider the Pros and Cons of Holiday Pet Travel
If you are visiting family or friends during the holiday, you could be torn between taking your pet with you or not. You want to spend the holidays with your pet but if they are anxious travelers and are not good around strangers, then it would be best to think of other options.
For one, you can ask a trustworthy loved one to pet sit while you’re away. You can also choose a local boarding kennel. Do your research before leaving your pet behind during the holidays.
If you choose to take them with you, make sure you are fully prepared. Aside from keeping them in a big enough carrier and a leash, make sure they have collars and ID tags on, have enough food to last the holidays, and their favorite toys to keep them company. The kind of preparation you require will depend on your destination and how you plan on traveling with your pooch.
There are other considerations pet parents need to consider during the holidays. What is important is that you do your part in keeping your pet safe and healthy during this wonderful time of the year. Mind what you and your guests are feeding them and be careful when decorating the house. Think hard before deciding to take your pet with you on your holiday travels. You want your pooch to enjoy the holidays as much as you do, provided they are kept happy, healthy, and safe.