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Protect Your Pets from Holiday Hazards
December 20, 2021
Season’s greetings, pet parents! As you go merrily about your holiday prep, are you interrupted with occasional harkenings back to haunted memories of Christmas past with your pets? Perhaps the fateful cat-knocking-over-the-Christmas-tree has befallen you before. Or your pup has helped himself to the holiday feast when no one was looking. Bivvy wants to keep the glad tidings of comfort and joy flowing for both you and your fur fam this year. Here are some pointers for keeping seasonal hazards at bay.
Jack Frost nipping excessively at your dog’s nose is potential winter hazard #1. Certainly don’t eliminate, but do limit, your dog’s time outside if you live in a region that gets legitimately cold. Certain breeds can get frostbite, especially on the tips of their ears and the tail. Very young and very old dogs are vulnerable to winter’s chill, as they can’t regulate their body temperature as well as those in the prime of life.
And small, delicate, and short-haired dogs ideally need some sort of covering. Veterinarians in fact encourage the use of shoes, coats, and sweaters on dogs when they’re really needed.
While hosting a party may be a festive, exciting occasion for us, it can be distressing to your pet to invite all that commotion into what’s their space too. If you have a party and that stresses your cat or dog out, consider keeping them in a safe space, like their own room, both to keep them calm and give them space, and to prevent them from getting let outside.
Just be sure to put some creature comforts in with them, like toys, water, food and/or treats, a crate, and a bed or pillow. Plus a litter box for our feline friends who will appreciate a space of their own the most, since they’re highly sensitive to noise and often shy around guests.
Make sure your guests know not to leave exterior doors open and ask them to stay out of the pet’s area.
Keep an eye on cats, who are particularly intrigued by sparkly décor and candles, as well as things shiny and stringy. Kittens, and young playful cats are most prone to injury by novel decorations. They may also singe their whiskers on candles or knock them over. Try not to have candles or fireplaces going in unsupervised areas with cats.
And yes, certainly keep an eye around all pets and Christmas trees. It’s best not to let them drink the water in real trees, as it can contain pesticides, fertilizer, and aspirin. Try keeping it covered with foil if your pet’s intrigued.
Chewing up ornaments, hooks, and pieces off trees real and artificial alike, can cause GI trouble. If your pet can’t be trusted around the tree, don’t have it and them in an area where they’re often unmonitored. Consider having the tree (or your pets) in a room that can be closed when you’re not home.
And while it may be tempting to decorate their cute little selves, it’s probably best not to dress pets up with Christmas outfits and accessories, beyond maybe a collar or bandana. It will stress them out, and most won’t like it. It can restrict their movement and even cause injury. Think critically about your pet’s personality. Even if you think they won’t mind being dressed up, maybe keep a holiday outfit on them just temporarily or for a quick photo op, never while unsupervised.
Tiny bits of turkey are likely to be fine for your pet, as long as they’re boneless and fully cooked. Same goes for a taste of mashed potatoes or even a tiny taste of pumpkin pie. Just don’t let them overindulge. Keep turkey bones and ham bones away from dogs, and one other sneaky risk? The aluminum foil and plastic wrap that’s often out in droves for wrapping up leftovers! Don’t let pets ingest that.
But best of all, keep your pet occupied with their own little holiday meal, like a tasty, made-for-pets bone, or add some turkey, sweet potato, green beans, and small dribbles of gravy to their food, maybe in a food puzzle toy.
Poinsettias are mildly toxic to cats, but not as much as people think. Holly and mistletoe are the ones to really look out for, as well as lilies and amaryllis. These are very toxic if ingested. Here’s a Bivvy blog that lists more plants toxic to pets.
If your pet does ingest something poisonous, call ASPCA Poison Control (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Hotline (800-213-6680).
Gift yourself and your pet pet health insurance this season. How much is pet insurance? With Bivvy, coverage is $15 or less per month. And in this season of giving, if you want to give Bivvy pet health insurance to someone else, you can cover their dog insurance cost! Just know that the pet parent must be listed as the policyholder. Your name and billing address can be the payment on file, but the pet parent’s info must be listed in all other areas of the sign-up process.
Season’s greetings to you and your fur fam, from all of us at Bivvy!