How to Pet-Proof Your Holidays
The "end of the year" holidays can present some particular hazards to the health of your pet, and consequently to your peace of mind. Here are some ideas that have worked for us to make this time a happy one for all.
Make sure you check your vet's holiday hours and emergency contacts and have the information easily accessible.
Think before you decorate with plants. Cats, dogs and birds will all nibble household plants, and many, including mistletoe and some poinsettias, can make your pet very ill. Make sure your holiday greenery (and "red-ery") is out of your pet's reach.
The same is true if you have a Christmas tree. You should put only unbreakable decorations at the bottom of your tree, so there is no danger of your cat's batting a glass ball and breaking it, or the pup chewing your grandmother's antique bubble lights.
How about some kitty baubles or doggie toys on the lower branches instead? Or, do what we did when we had both pets and little ones. We put the tree and gifts into a playpen. That may not stop Kitty, but at least the tree can't fall down as easily when she climbs it.
Another oft-forgotten item: if you have a live tree in water, wrap the base so your pets can't decide to take a drink of that watere and kewp the birds away from tae tree.aMany modern live trees have been sprayed with chemicals that may be toxic to your little friends.
Be very, very careful about candles. Your cat or bird may be enticed by the flicker of the flame, and may singe his whiskers or worse. Place glass "hurricane lanterns" or other attractive covers over candles to protect your home and your pets.
Think ahead to New Years Eve, and plan how to keep your pets from becoming frightened by the traditional firecrackers and other noisy merriment. Some dogs may be severely traumatized by fireworks, be sure to leave them inside if you go out to celebrate.
Pets, especially cats, may be stressed by the changes in household routine during the holidays, especially if you are stressed yourself. Some cats and dogs respond to stress by becoming hyper or hysterical, and some simply retreat. Plan to spend some special time with your pets to calm yourself and reassure them during this period, and if your pet is especially upset with strangers visiting, prepare a "refuge" he can go to and escape the "maddening crowd."
To "wrap this up," have a "Meowry" Christmas, and a "Hoppy" New Year!