My first kid is a fur-kid and I love her to pieces. Birdy’s an old gal nowadays, but every time I look at her and pet her silky ears, I see her as the naughty puppy she once was. Perhaps, it’s the impish black mask that frames her sweet brown eyes? Or maybe it’s the ridiculously large, four-leaf clover patch on her butt. Either way, she’s my girl and I cherish all of the fun times we’ve had together over the years.
You know, like the time she stole an entire stick of butter right out of my son’s hands and snarfed it down in one bite?
Or, how about the time she stole a cookie right out of my daughter’s chubby baby hand?
Better yet, how about her amazing dishwashing skills whenever you turn your back? That’s right, folks, my girl LOVES to lick the plates clean. Bon appetit!
Oh, I’m sitting here laughing as I type. I could go on and on. I mean just last week she gobbled down a taco right out of the garbage bag that was waiting to be taken outside by my husband. He left the bag open on the floor. What was she supposed to do, right? Tacos ARE delicious!
But all kidding aside, food can be very dangerous for our little furry friends as can holiday decorations. If you have a cat, you know exactly what I mean.
Christmas trees are meant for climbing and tinsel is made for eating…and then throwing up…repeatedly.
So, it’s important to understand that although we all love cooking, baking and decorating come this time of year, we need to keep a few things in mind if we want to keep our pets safe during the holidays. Thankfully, the team at Healthy Paws Pet Insurance pulled together some information for us to share with you to help you get ready for the season without any unnecessary trips to the vet.
How To Pet Proof Your Home For The Holidays
Pet Proofing the Holiday Home
1.) Create a safe space.
When leaving pets home alone, restrict their roaming to a space free from decor or presents. Make sure they have a comfy dog bed to retreat to if they’re feeling overwhelmed.
2.) Secure the tree.
A falling Christmas tree can seriously injure your cat or dog, so if you have a mischief-maker or tree-climber, a proper tree stand is important. They may not be pretty, but you can always camouflage it with a beautiful tree skirt around it. You may even want to stabilize the tree with additional hardware or put up a gate. Cats are super naughty about climbing trees!
3.) Exercise caution with candles.
A curious pet could end up with severe burns, or even knock the candle over with a wag of the tail and start a fire. Keep candles up on a shelf or only lit while you’re in the room. Better yet – use realistic fake candles!
4.) Communicate with guests.
While the holidays can be stressful for you, additional guests can stress your pet out too. Make sure visitors are aware that you take your pet’s safety seriously. No sneaking snacks at the Christmas party, absolutely no sharing alcohol, and, should you have overnight guests, lock up their medications and personal products.
5.) Don’t forget the basics.
Continue with your pet’s regularly scheduled medicines and vet appointments. While we tend to get very busy during this time, your pet’s health should still be on that list of priorities. (And don’t forget to wish your vet happy holidays!)
What can my pup eat for the holidays?
1.) Turkey and chicken.
Turkey and chicken are safe to give your dog, but with exceptions! Before passing your pup a piece of poultry meat, make sure to follow these important rules: only share ‘lean’ meat, in other words – white meat with excess skin and fat removed and never, ever give your dog turkey or chicken bones. But, proper dog treats are always the safer option.
Pumpkin, carrots, and cranberries. Or, you could just have dog treats on hand for guests to give them if they feel the need to spoil your pet!
What can make your dog sick?
1.) Garlic and Onions.
Avoid these foods. Garlic and onions both have chemical properties that can be toxic and even life-threatening to dogs (and cats). Garlic has been known to essentially poison dogs with stealthy symptoms, so effects can turn up a few days later.
From beer to cocktails, pets just can’t process it and it can be poisonous.
3.) Foods with Nutmeg.
Although the chances of your furry friend experiencing nutmeg toxicity from a small treat are slim, it’s best to avoid sharing any treats with this household spice with your pup, as it can cause serious sickness for dogs.
4.) Desserts and ice cream.
Canines can be lactose-intolerant, and ice cream is full of sugar. While naturally occurring sugars aren’t bad, the added sugars in pies and cakes can lead to health problems. Same with sugar-free desserts – most artificial sweeteners may cause diarrhea, and sugar substitute xylitol is poisonous to pups!
Did the team at Healthy Paws Pet Insurance miss anything? Let us know in the comments below and have an awesome holiday season with your furry friends!
Want more articles about how to keep your pets safe?
- table scraps for dogs: bbq dos and don’ts
- Dog-friendly garden ideas
- 3 pet safety tips to keep in mind when grilling outdoors
- top tips for traveling with your dog