As much as we enjoy the Christmas holiday, our furry friends may find it a bit scary. Like kids, pets thrive off of consistency and feeling safe, but with all of the flurries of activities and changes to their home environment it’s no wonder they may experience a bit of anxiety.
Plus, they may get into a bit of trouble with the holiday décor, especially if they are the mischievous type!
Because we know how much you love your pet, Just For Pets has compiled ten tips to help keep your pet safe and happy over the holidays. We’ve also provided you with some products that may help to deter unwanted behaviour.
1. Watch that tree!
The Christmas tree is a wonderland for animals, especially ones that are curious as to what might happen if the tree gets tipped over. If your pet has the tendency to tip the tree, be sure to secure it to the wall. Keep the rope or string up high so it doesn’t become another object of investigation or a danger zone for your pet.
2. Toxic live tree water
Standing tree water in a live tree can be toxic for animals to drink. If you have a live tree, be sure to cover the tree stand so your furry friend doesn’t use it as a water bowl! In fact, our member stores are equipped with water bowls, like the PetSafe Water Fountain, that may be more fascinating to your pet, than the murky, bacteria-infested water that sits in the tree stand.
3. Tasty ornaments are a no-no
Dangly ornaments on a tree and festive decorations are pretty attractive to most pets. They may even attempt to use your precious holiday collectables as chew toys. Unfortunately, shards from a broken ornament and long bits of garland can be major choking hazards and harmful to Ruff Ruff’s intestines. Consider hanging your décor high enough to be out of reach. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, try Nature’s Miracle No-Chew Bitter Taste Spray for dogs, which is in stock at your local Just For Pets store.
4. Oh, electricity!
It never fails… there’s something about electrical objects that are very attractive to pets, especially ones that like to chew. Tree lights, electrical cords, and batteries are very tempting chew toys, so keep this in mind when you are decorating. Nature’s Miracle No-Chew Bitter Taste Spray would be a great option here, too!
5. That’s a wrap!
Wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, labels… you name it! Clean up after your holiday wrap-up, and put your presents in a hard to reach place so your furry angels don’t get any cheeky ideas. That way your gorgeous gifts and accessories don’t become a choking hazard. When wrapping and opening presents, keep a trash bin close by so it’s easier to clean up as you go. If you have kids, ask them to help by being “trash detectives” and to pick up small bits of wrapping accessories.
6. Candles and oils
Those holiday candles are oh-so-good smelling, but oh-so-hot! Burning candles, tart warmers, and essential oil burners help bring the holiday spirit and are beautiful when set up with Christmas decorations. Keep them far out of reach from your curious pets so there aren’t any brutal burns to have to treat. PAW Manuka Wound Gel is a great product to consider for pet wounds.
7. Safe places
If you’re like many other people around the holidays, you may be caught up in a flurry of activities. Pets may get a little stressed out from all of the holiday action, so providing a safe place to escape is the best plan as a pet parent. If he has a favourite room or area of the house, put together a cosy spot for him to feel safe. Kazoo and Snooza have a wide range of comfy beds to choose from, and of course don’t forget an entertaining KONG toy.
8. Nix the human food
Your pets are watching… and waiting… for that tasty morsel to drop. Human food can cause serious intestinal issues in pets, and some foods are very toxic. Yeast from raw dough, grapes, raisins, xylitol in lollies, dark chocolate, and alcohol are huge no-no’s. Keep an eye out for clever thieves prowling around the kitchen and eyeing the trash can. Try to control yourself from tossing random bits of leftovers to your pets. Instead, treat them with some treats of their own. Huds & Toke, Kazoo, Dingo, and K9 Homes have a whole range of Christmas treats made specifically for your furry friends!
9. Holiday botanicals
A little nibble here, a little nibble there, and off to the emergency vet we go. Watch for holiday plants that can make pets sick. These include amaryllis, poinsettias, zygocactus (Christmas cactus), lilies, holly, and mistletoe. Don’t be discouraged to decorate your home with these Christmas-inspiring plants, but just make sure to keep them out of the way of your pets. You could pat yourself on the back for being a purrfect paw parent after you’ve sprayed the plants down with Nature’s Miracle Just For Cats Pet Block Repellent Spray! (can you say that ten times in a row?)
10. Keep guests off limits to pets
If you plan to have relatives or your mates over for the holidays, seriously consider keeping your guests off limits to pets. Pets can get very overwhelmed very quickly by guests, especially kids. Kindly make the rules clear ahead of time and let your guests know that Ruffy and Meow-Meow will most likely need space. As a pet parent, watch your pet for signs of frustration and don’t wait to put him in his safe place.
Ask your guests to not disturb him when he’s in his safe place, and the kids could even make a little “Do Not Disturb” sign for him! Keep doors and escape routes closed and consider a pet calming remedy from your local Just For Pets store.
These popular products for dogs include Adaptil, Value Plus Calming Paste, and PAW Complete Calm. For cats, consider looking for Feliway.
However you choose to spend your holidays, it will have some sort of impact on your pets. You can all have a holly, jolly Christmas by following these simple steps. All of our Just For Pets member stores can give you expert advise on how to make it enjoyable – and safe – for everyone in your home.