(Mirror Daily, United States) – Veterinarians and pet owners can offer a few tips on how to handle your pets during the holidays when the stress is high for everyone in spite of the joyous occasion. For us, the holidays represent times with family, relatives coming over, sparkly decorations, and plenty of food. For dogs, some of those might inspire danger.
According to Dr. Donna Alexander, from the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control, there are a few measures every dedicated pet owner should take. First off, they need to understand that the holidays can be impacting to the little critters as well. They might not be excited to open presents today, but they are feeling the change.
The most important thing is to maintain their routine. Both cats and dogs like their habits, and they will feel stressed if that changes. Along with guests coming over, your pet might start feeling a bit ambushed, unpleasantly surprised, and experience high amounts of stress. It’s neither good for their health or your home. Stressed out pets might end up defecating randomly around the house, or present with other behavioral issues.
So, keep up with the routine they have so learned and enjoyed.
Furthermore, if there are numerous guests around your home to celebrate Christmas, pets should have their own space. Be it a room upstairs, or just an escape door, it’s recommended that they would have a way to run from the merriment. It could be just the noise, commotion, or overly excited relative that wants to squish them to death, so they should have a way to enjoy some quiet alone time, where there’s warmth, food, and water.
Decorations are also a factor that any pet owner should take into consideration. It seems that many animals, especially cats, are heavily attracted to the shiny globes and beautifully decorated tree that took hours of work. They will leap, grab, bite, and chew until destruction is imminent. One way to prevent it is make sure that the Christmas tree is well anchored, and try to keep most globes from the bottom third of the tree.
There are toxins waiting on their surface that can be upsetting to their stomachs, to say the least. They might also result in complications. Bigger dogs might feel drawn to biting or chewing on the glass globes, which can lead to foreseeable consequences such as cuts or, worse, ingestion of sharp pieces. It’s important to make sure that the little critters don’t get too intense with the decorations.
And last, food. Christmas dinners are filled with delicious treats that we all know and love. It’s also difficult not to want to share it with the adorable animals at the sight of their beautifully big eyes. However, it’s not recommended. Turkey, ham, shortbread, stuffing, buttered veggies, and sweets could be perilous for your pet. In the best case scenario, it might lead to an upset stomach. Worst case, it could result in serious conditions that will require a not-so-jolly visit to the veterinarian on Christmas Day.
It’s important to keep our pets safe, and take their habits into considerations while keeping our holiday traditions.
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