As COVID-19 cases continue to surge here in the Treasure Valley, it's time to think about what this Christmas is going to look like for you, your extended family, and even your pets.
Even as Ugly Christmas sweater parties are getting canceled and family cookie making parties are getting postponed, we still need to be mindful of all of the seasonal things that can be troublesome or downright deadly for your pets. As new sparkly items are being put out around the house, you should try to see them as your pet sees them. Naturally, your pet is going to want to check these things out.
Below are some tips to help keep your curious cat or canine safe during this Christmas season:
- Be mindful of the volume of Christmas music or decorations that make noise. Loud new noises can sometimes stress your kitty or pup out. If you notice your pet is agitated, turn the music down or off. You can also put on pet calming music.
- Resist the adorable head tilt or those amazingly big pleading eyes, and do not give your pets any human food. Pet food and people food are not the same, and making any sudden diet changes can give your pets indigestion, diarrhea, or worse. Especially avoid foods such as chocolate, grapes, onions, cooked bones, eggnog, and fruitcake.
- Take your trash out often to help reduce the chance that Fido can dig through it and get into something that he shouldn't.
- If you have holiday flowers out like lilies, holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias, make sure they are out of reach of the pets. These can be toxic to pets.
- If you have a living Christmas tree in your house, make sure your pets cannot get to the water. Since the water is not circulated, the tree bowl can be a breeding ground for things that can make your pet sick.
- Make sure that electrical cords are tucked away to avoid your pet from either chewing on the cords or tripping over them.
- Ornament hooks, tinsel, and plastic or glass decorations can obstruct or tear the intestine if your pets decide to make these items into chewing toys. Best to hang decorations out of reach from your pets or put a gate around your tree.
- When opening presents, it's best to throw away wrapping paper, boxes, and bows after opening presents.
- December is also a great time of year to make sure your pets' ID tags and microchips have your current information on them. If your pet gets out, tags and chips are the best way to ensure your pet will get back home.
If you suspect your pet has gotten into something that he shouldn't have, here are a few of the symptoms that will need to be attended to by your veterinarian right away:
- Prolonged vomiting (more than three times in a row)
- Dry heaves
- A distended abdomen
- Sudden weakness or inability to stand
- Respiratory distress
- Noticeable change in gum color
- Having seizures
This Christmas is going to be a challenging one indeed. Not having parties with friends or family visit from out of town will be hard for most of us. Thankfully, the COVID-19 vaccine coming out in the new few weeks will help ensure that the Christmas of 2021 will be a very welcome return to normalcy.