Christmas dangers to pets that you are caring for is something to be aware of. Whether you are caring for your pets or a client's there may be unexpected dangers that need to be addressed.
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Christmas Dangers to Pets
Animals are curious and when left alone may become bored and look for something exciting to play with. Whether you are pet sitting for a client who has gone away for a week or only leaving your pet unattended for an evening to attend a party, being aware of what they can get into is important.
- Tinsel and ornaments. While tinsel and ornaments aren't toxic, they can be a choking hazard to your cat or dog. They can be very attractive as toys since they glitter and will move around if your pet jostles the tree. If the ornaments are sharp, they can cut your pet's mouth or paws as well.
- Lights and candles. Many pets like to chew, and they may be tempted by your strands of Christmas lights. Pets that jump, like cats, may knock over candles and injure themselves or start a fire.
- Christmas ribbon. Ribbons and bows are a definite choking hazard for your pets. Once eaten, they can become twisted in their intestines and require surgery. Please do NOT tie a ribbon around your pet's collar or neck. Choose an accessory made specifically for pets.
- Food. Some foods are not safe for your pets. Chocolate can be toxic to dogs. Some nuts can cause vomiting or be toxic to animals. Bones can splinter and cause injuries when chewed on or digested. It's best not to give your pet table scraps. Instead, offer them treats made for them.
- Plants. While Christmas plants are pretty, they can be toxic to animals. At the very least, they can cause an upset stomach or vomiting if eaten. Avoid holly, poinsettias, and mistletoe. Even pine needles can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested by your pet.
- Presents and pieces. Once the presents have been unwrapped, be aware of what they contain. Will that box of chocolates tempt your pet? Is there the possibility that they might eat a battery or other small part of a game. Place these items out of the way so your pet won't be able to get into them.
Before you leave your pet unattended for even a few hours, take a look around the area they have access to for Christmas dangers to pets. If you are pet sitting for a client, take a brief walk through the home when you arrive to sit and be aware of what hazards may exist. Close doors to rooms that may not be safe for them. Place easy things like plants out of the way when possible.
The holidays should be a peaceful time to spend with friends and family. No one wants to have a pet injured during this particular time. If you have any concern at all that your pet may have gotten into something that isn't safe for them, immediately contact your veterinarian for their advice.
Check out these DIY holiday ideas for your pets.