Do you look forward to holiday shopping for matching dog and pet parent pyjamas before the fall leaves have settled? Or, have you ever written a letter to Santa on behalf of your cat? With all the excitement of the holiday season, it's easy to forget some essential safety tips for your furry friends. So, as we prepare to celebrate the season, it's important to ensure that the holidays are equally special for your pets. At GoFetch, we're all about keeping your pets happy and healthy. We work with veterinarians across the country to develop ideas, solutions and programs so you can focus more on your pet with less stress, worry and, of course, have more fun with them too. Here's some ways to keep your pets safe over the holidays and help celebrate the season.
Pet Proof the Home
You don't want to cause extra stress for your pets during the holiday season. So, start by giving your home a thorough inspection and make it as pet-proof as possible. If you're welcoming a new furry friend to the family or having other pets visit as a guest, be extra careful as they might behave differently than what you expect. And puppies and kittens get into everything.
Help Pets Avoid Stress
Pets, especially the shy and older ones, can get stressed with the bustle of the holidays. Keep pets indoors in a quiet, escape-proof room where they can get away from the excitement or in their crate with a favourite toy. If you're coming and going, watch the door and ensure they're microchipped or have ID tags. And if you're travelling, leave enough food and extra water for them, especially if the weather can change quickly.
Be Careful With Decorations
Ribbons and tinsel can be dangerous if ingested, so keep them out of reach. Some ornaments can easily break, so hang breakable items away from curious cats and wagging tails. Anchor your tree for extra security. Keep lights and cords safely secured or covered. Get pet-proof extension cords or spray them with “chew deterrents” if needed and unplug them at night or if leaving the house.
Festive Plants Can Be Dangerous and Toxic
Unfortunately, many holiday plants can be poisonous and harmful to pets, such as poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe. If you have these plants in your home, keep them out of reach or opt for a pet-safe alternative, like a synthetic version that can be a lot safer. Pine needles are tiny and sharp and can cause injury in your pet's mouth, digestive system or paws. If you have a natural tree, sweep up fallen needles daily.
Watch What They Eat
The holidays are here, and for many of us, that means cozying up in the kitchen with our favourite recipes to share. We know, we know it's hard to resist big, hopeful eyes staring up at you from under the table, but many festive, oily and fatty foods can make your pet seriously sick, and some foods are even toxic. So, of course, you don't have to deny your pets every holiday treat, but give them pet-friendly choices that you can feel good about.
Click here to get the GoFetch+ Winter Wellness Guide, including great holiday safety tips, recipes and more.