My post yesterday was about not buying a pet as a gift at this particular time of year – and the reasons why.
However, what about those of us who already have pets in our homes?
There are a few things we need to watch out for at this time of year, to keep our four legged member of the family out of harm’s way.
I know, I know, I can hear you say “Here she goes again” – but I wouldn’t be a caring pet owner if I didn’t take the time to bring these things to your attention, would I? Besides, we all need reminders from time to time!
Here are some of the dangers to be aware of with an accompanying solution for each one:-
1. Wrapping Paper, Ribbons, Bows, Empty Boxes
Christmas as a great time for kids; as they unwrap their presents one by one, all the wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, empty boxes, etc., get strewn all over the floor. Cats and dogs are inquisitive by nature – and there is the danger – because they could start to chew at some of that stuff. Puppies and kittens are particularly are at risk because they are extra curious and inquisitive, especially if this is their first Christmas. Your pet could very easily choke, and may even require emergency medical attention from a vet, and besides being traumatic for your pet, it could be very costly for you – vets don’t come cheap.
Solution: Take the precaution of keeping your pets out of the way (perhaps in another room whilst all the unwrapping is being done). He can come out and join in all the family fun once all the paper and bits and pieces have been removed.
2. Christmas Tree
You may have a large dog or one who is a bit boisterous, so there is the danger of him knocking over the tree in his excitement, and this could have serious consequences, especially if there are electric lights on the tree. If your cat decided to run up the tree, his weight could pull it down, breaking some of the glass baubles in the process.
Solution: Placing the tree in the corner of a room and securing it so it cannot be knocked over is a good idea.
3. Christmas Tree Lights and Baubles
The fairy lights and fancy glass baubles we hang on the tree look very pretty, but if broken, it would be disastrous if your pet started chewing on them. He could cut his mouth or worse still, if a broken piece was swallowed, it could mean another trip to the vet.
Solution: Place something in front of the decorated tree so your pet can’t get near it.
4. Electric Cords
Electric cords pose a particular danger to pets, especially if they are chewed.
Solution: Keep them out of the way or cover them with a rug so no-one trips over them.
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to animals, even just a small piece. You are not doing your pet any favours by giving them what you consider to be a “treat”. Dogs love chocolate, but it could make him very sick. Other sweets may not be toxic, but still shouldn’t be given to him.
Solution: Keep chocolate out of reach of your pets and keep them on their regular diet to avoid any digestive upsets.
If you are aware of these possible dangers facing your pet at Christmastime, and you take the necessary precautions to avoid them by following the solutions given, then everyone in the family (including your pet), will have a safe and happy Christmas!