The holiday season brings friends and families together, but extra house guests - and extra food - can often be stressful for your pet. Fortunately, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), which is celebrating its 150th Anniversary, has some great tips to keep your pet happy and stress-free this holiday season!
- Keep people food out of the reach of your pet and ask your guests to do the same. Instead of feeding table scraps, try making a treat just for your pet.
- Place trash cans away from pets so they don't eat something that could make them sick, like garlic, raisins and leftover turkey bones.
- Don't leave your pet alone in room with lit candles, which may cause a fire if knocked over.
- Keep holiday plants out of reach. Some plants (especially holly, mistletoe, and lilies) can be hazardous if your pet swallows them, and pine cones or needles can cause intestinal damage.
- Consider leaving tinsel off your tree if you have a cat. Cats like to play with dangling objects, and an overzealous cat that pulls at the tinsel can cause falling decorations, which could lead to a pet injury. Hanging lemon-scented car air fresheners in the tree may help keep your cat from climbing it.
- Secure your Christmas tree. A secured tree won't fall if your dog bumps your tree or your cat climbs it, and will help prevent pet injuries and a mess of needles and ornaments littering the floor.
- Visitors may upset your pets. Some pets can be excitable or scared when you have company, so it can be a good idea to make your pets feel as comfortable in their surroundings as possible. Consider putting your pet in another room with some of his/her toys and a comfy bed or providing a safe place for your pet to escape the excitement, like a kennel, perching place, scratching post shelf or hiding place. This will help keep your pets (and visitors!) at ease.
"If you know your pet's going to be begging, what you may need to do is put the pet in the back room, close the door, put a note on the door saying Santa's workshop or please keep out, and then you know your pet's going to be out of harm's way," explained AVMA Veterinarian Dr. Bernadine Cruz.
The AVMA has many pet health and safety tips, informed by 150 years of veterinary medical research and advancement. Click here to find more great pet wellness tips!
To learn more about the AVMA and its milestone 150th Anniversary, please visit www.avma.org.