We all love this season of pretty lights and music. And even a little bit of snow makes for some extra excitement and nostalgia. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to caring for our 4-legged family members during the holiday season.
High fat foods, big meals, turkey dinner! Fabulous food is everywhere during the holidays! Since we enjoy it so much, we should share with our pets. Wrong. Leave them out of the food festivities. They won’t hold a grudge! They’ll feel better if you continue their regular diet routine and not add various treats. Sudden challenges to their gastrointestinal system can manifest in various unpleasant ways (including vomiting, accidents in the house or waking you up several times through the night to go out urgently). And some of our favorite treats are toxic to pets. A good example of this is chocolate! Let your pet’s tummy stay peaceful this holiday season. Don’t share the goodies.
Keep decorations out of reach. Cats love to climb Christmas trees and play with (and swallow) tinsel, while dogs love to chase and fetch the bobbles. (Helpful hint regarding kitties with tinsel poops: – don’t pull the tinsel out, cut it instead. Pulling a string out of the cat’s bum can damage or even lacerate the inside lining of the intestine.)
Excitement & Loss of routine:
You’re busy going to parties, having parties, going to holiday concerts, going shopping, or locked in a room upstairs wrapping presents ... There are often new people around – and sometimes lots of them. The usual routine is quite dramatically altered. Do your best to keep your pet’s life predictable and stable during these busy times, as the chaos of the season is especially difficult for them.
Don’t give a pet as a Christmas gift:
Please don’t buy pets as gifts for your family (or friends) during the holidays. It is the busiest time of year, and creates major pitfalls for introducing a new pet to the household. Wait until things have settled after the holidays are over. Then take your time to make a solid decision about pet selection and then give your new pet lots of time and attention to build your new bond.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks:
Just as we’ve mentioned in our Halloween blog entry, some dogs are very frightened by the explosive noises created by fireworks. Be aware of this, and talk to your vet if your pet needs assistance.
Consider a BVH Veterinary Gift Certificate for your gift-giving this year. They make great stocking stuffers!
From all of our doctors & staff at Bellevue Veterinary Hospital:
Have a Safe & Happy Holiday Season & Best Wishes for 2013!