The holidays are a time of upheaval and stress just as much as they are filled with joy and family. And this is especially true for your pets. They not only have to deal with the comings and goings of guests (in other words, the intrusion of their space), but also a slew of restrictions that includes smelling fragrant foods but not eating them, staying away from decorations, and sometimes the loss of their caretaker due to travel plans. Not only that, but they have absolutely no mechanism in place to understand what the heck is going on. For this reason, it is easy for pets to succumb to the many hazards that abound during this season. You need to be aware of how your pets can get into trouble during the holidays so that you can ensure their safety, comfort, and happiness. Here are a few things to watch out for.
1. Food. The biggest concern for most pets during the holidays revolves around the massive amounts of food that are present. You will likely be receiving plenty of food gifts (chocolate in particular) that your pets may try to ingest, as well as entertaining friends and family that might feed your pets people food (unbeknownst to you), and you may be prone to placing holiday treats in easy-to-reach locations (candies and nuts on the coffee table, candy canes on the tree, etc.). Just be aware of what you are doing so that you don’t carelessly allow your pets access to food items that could lead to a trip to the emergency vet.
2. Christmas tree. This traditional holiday item could cause a lot of problems for your pet. For starters, live trees require water to stay alive. If your pets get into this water, they could end up consuming sap, which is harmful to their system. So make sure the water tray is covered so they can’t get to it. In addition, make an effort to secure your tree so that it can’t be knocked over. Dogs may try to jump for ornaments, but cats especially like to climb Christmas trees and they can easily get hurt if the tree topples over.
3. Decorations. No matter how much you like tinsel, you won’t be happy you used it to decorate when you find your pet choking on it. If you have animals in the house, put careful consideration into the items that you use to decorate your home. If they seem potentially harmful to your animals, try to find other options. Ornaments made from cloth, wood, and solid plastic are generally preferable to those made from breakable materials (glass, thin plastic, etc.).
4. Fire. ‘Tis the season for a roaring fire and loads of atmosphere-creating candles. Just make sure that your pets do not have access to these dangerous areas. Keep candles out of reach (to stop animals from accidentally brushing against them and coming to harm or causing a house fire) and make sure that a sturdy grate separates pets from the fireplace.
5. Travel. Whether you are leaving your pets in the care of a kennel or a sitter, or taking them with you as you travel, you need to keep in mind that they have special needs and they can easily become agitated by too much change. Try to prepare them by taking them to the kennel periodically so they can become accustomed to it, having a caretaker come to the house and bond with your animal several times before you leave, or traveling for short distances so that they can become comfortable with being in their carrier inside a moving vehicle. This will help to ensure that your holiday travel plans are smooth sailing for all parties.
Jim McCormack writes for Trucker to Trucker where you can find information on commercial truck financing and check out the latest deals on trucks across the country.