Company is coming! 'Tis the season to make sure you know these holiday pet safety tips.
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
It’s the time of year when we need to stop and think about our fur babies and keeping them safe for all occasions! Four Paws One Heart Inc. is sharing best practices for when friends and family visit, when we host holiday parties, and when we expect more deliveries than usual. Don't forget about the food we leave out, the flashy holiday decor, and shorter daylight hours that can change your daily walks.
Keep them Safe – Take Precautions
Know which foods may cause your dog or cat harm. Chocolate, onions and candy, alcohol or gum with xylitol can prove deadly. Watch what is left on the counter and what you put in a child’s Christmas stocking. It just takes a quick Google search, if you're unsure!
Don’t leave bags of chips where a dog or curious cat may get their head in the bag. Pet suffocation is not uncommon. I cut the bottom off all empty chip bags before disposing of them to prevent suffocation should that bag end up somewhere that could impact wildlife.
Never give dogs bones from meat that has been cooked! Splintering can happen and send you to the ER.
Plants, like poinsettias, lilies, holly may be harmful if ingested. If you have a new kitten or cat, watch that Christmas tree too! We put our branches out on the floor a day before we put it up so they get used to the smell. Put unbreakable ornaments on the bottom branches where a cat may think you’ve just given them a shiny new toy.
Make sure Aunt Betty knows the rules on letting the dog out or that the cat can’t go out! Ask her to make sure she leaves her medication out of reach. Know when fireworks or other noises from events may have an effect on your pet.
Have the 800 # for poison control and the know where your local pet emergency hospital is. You can find our list of emergency and shelter contacts here.
Make sure your animal is behind a gate or door when friends and family arrive. This also applies to the holiday catering set-up or when that new table is delivered and the door may be left open just a little too long.
Be sure microchip information is up to date, and collars and tags are always on your pet! It won’t hurt your dog to have their collar put on after a bath.
Make note of daylight's new bedtime! With the time change, you may want to take your pup for a walk during an earlier time of the day or purchase some new gear to increase your visibility while you're out and about. Invest in a reflective vest for you and your pet. You can also purchase leashes and collars that light up.
If you have an outdoor pet, please bring them in on cold nights! If you’re cold, they’re cold. Also, don't be afraid to report concerns if you see an animal out in the cold or without adequate food and shelter (read Trophy Club Animal Ordinances: Prohibited Actions Against Animals). Keep the local animal control or non-emergency phone number handy so you can be their voice this holiday season!
Puppies are lifelong companions, not presents!
Lastly, please don’t buy a pet for someone if you don’t know how they feel about pet ownership. So often pets end up back at the shelter or with a rescue in the 2-3 months following the holiday season. Suddenly that cute little puppy is a 75-pound dog that requires exercise and walking, and no one in the house is ready for that responsibility.
If you are getting a new cat or kitten for your family, we have so many cute ones available – just make sure whoever is getting them – wants them.
Enjoy the holiday season, and keep Fido and Frisky safe!