December 7, 2010

Five Pet Tips for Holiday Safety this Winter

Travel

If you travel over the holidays and take your pet with you, be sure he wears his identity tags at all times. Being in a strange place can make pets anxious and more likely to bolt – and less likely to find their way back to you. If traveling by car, be sure to take lots of regular potty breaks to avoid discomfort and the risk of bladder infections. A secure carrier or pet seatbelt can make the trip safer for everyone, too.

Food & Treats

Try to keep to your pet’s usual routines for exercise, and particularly meal times. Don’t switch diets when you travel, and prevent your pet from gorging on holiday leftovers which can trigger GI upset and pancreas problems when fed in excess. A moderate amount of leftovers, of course, is fine for most pets and can add some healthy variety and extra nutrition to her meals.

Parties

If you have holiday parties at home, make sure your pet is secure and safe when the door is being frequently opened and closed. Ask visitors to respect your pet’s likes or dislikes regarding being petted or held – this is especially important with children in the house who may not yet have good ‘pet manners’. Remember that party poppers and balloons can be very startling to pets who aren’t seasoned party-goers. Reassure and confine your pet appropriately to help reduce stress.

Hazards – Holiday decorations

Many holiday decorations like glass baubles and tinsel can be potentially fatal for your pet if swallowed. Make sure young puppies don’t have free access to decorations on the tree or around the home. Holiday goodies like chocolates, macadamia nuts and candies can also be harmful so be sure to keep these out of reach, too.

Plants

Holiday plants like Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe and Poinsettia are all hazardous (and potentially fatal) if consumed. Keep them up high and out of reach. The stress of the holidays with lots of visitors, disrupted routines and travel can sometimes cause a pet to try nibbling on foliage to try to ease anxiety-related tummy aches. Fresh, growing wheatgrass (available from many health food stores) is a much better option.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Check out some other articles with pet safety tips:
Ten Pet Tips for Halloween Safety
Tips for Keeping Children Safe Around Dogs
Tips for Traveling with Dogs

© 2013 Lucy Postins & The Honest Kitchen This article may only be copied with prior written permission from the company. Reproductions must include credit to the author and a link to this website.