As a pet sitter, I am often amazed at how frequently loving pet parents are seemingly unaware of the hazards they allow in their best friend's living spaces. Some are even "killing with kindness".
The holidays seem to be the most dangerous time for pets. Many of our holiday traditions are not pet-friendly. For instance, much of our favorite Holiday food is hazardous for pets. Although Grandma's stuffing is delicious and he really wants some, the onions can poison Fido. Chocolate is another common pet poison. Turkey bones pulled from the trash may splinter and puncture your pets digestive tract.
Cute Santa toys with google eyes, squeakers, and polyester stuffing can easily lead to severe and costly blockages that may cause a rapid decline in your pet's health. Tinsel and ribbon look like fun but can be fatal. Poinsettias are beautiful but highly poisonous.
So, how do you enjoy the holidays, if you have to worry about all these possible hazards? I offer a few simple suggestions:
- Don't allow your pet to have human food of any kind. Just don't. It's easier to remember.
- Only give them safe and hard to destruct toys. They should be hard rubber with no parts small enough to swallow.
- Separate your pets the from your decorations with doors or baby gates.
- Take note of any major changes in your pet's behavior, appetite, bathroom habits, etc., and act on them promptly.