It’s the holiday season and you’re all set to spend some time with family and friends to celebrate the season. The extra activity, decorations and added temptations could cause problems for the family pet. If you take a few precautions in advance, the holidays could be merry for the family pet as it is for everyone else.
Decorate wisely. Anchor the tree and secure light cords to prevent any injuries. Avoid tinsel and ornaments that could be toxic, make sure breakable ornaments are hanging high and pet safe ornaments adorn the lower third of the tree.
Beware of seasonal plants. Mistletoe, berries and poinsettias are toxic to animals and can cause an upset stomach or worse reaction. Because pets are tempted to drink out of any water bowl, you may want to avoid adding chemicals in the tree water.
Watch out for new dangers. Needles, tinsel, hooks, ribbon, foil and cellophane may look like a toy to your pets, but could cause major damage if eaten.
Skip the season treats for your pet. A change of diet, even for one meal, can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea for a cat or dog. Skip the table scraps, bones and chocolate and keep your garbage secure.
Look for pet-friendly treats. Many local pet stores have a variety of treats that are created specifically for cats and dogs. Keep a selection on hand for your pets and your friends pets as well.
Set up a quiet area for your pet. This will give your pet a safe area during the hustle and bustle of the season and will cut down on escapes when company comes and goes.
Look for pet-friendly activities. Many area dog parks, shelters, rescues, and pet day care facilities offer a variety of pet- and child-friendly activities during the holidays. It’s a great opportunity to include your more outgoing pet in fun activities outside the home. Check out events at Chicago Party Animals and check our weekly updates for pet-focused and pet-friendly events.
Have an emergency plan. Anytime of year you should have an emergency plan just in case something happens with your pet when your veterinarian is either closed for the day or if your pet needs more intensive treatment than your vet may offer. Know where your local emergency veterinary hospital is located and the best route to get there in case you need it.
Here are a few of the veterinary emergency clinics in the Chicago-area – Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center on Clybourn in Chicago; Animal Emergency and Treatment Center on West Belmont in Chicago and Grayslake; Animal 911 in Skokie; Vet Specialty in Buffalo Grove; Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in Northbrook; and Golf Rose Animal Hospital in Schaumburg.
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