The holiday season can be an amazing time for everyone including our much loved pets. However, there are many dangers that the festive period can pose to our furry companions. Here are some top tips from Kat the nurse in her article published in the Daventry Express on how to keep your companions healthy, happy and safe.
Kat comments “Every year in practice we see a large number of pets who have been affected by everything from toxic plants to dangerous decorations. We as pet owners can prevent these incidents by following a few simple tips”
The Christmas celebrations bring about indulgent food such as chocolate, mince pies, roast dinners and alcoholic beverages. Most of us know that chocolate can be fatal to our pets but few people realise that raisins, certain nuts and alcohol (even in small measures) can cause nausea, vomiting, renal failure and even fatalities.
Kat says “It is important that these toxic tasty treats are kept well out of paw’s reach. It is easy to forget goodies left out on the side in all the chaos and presents containing sweets under the tree. We also advise to leave those leftovers for human consumption only, as dietary changes with such high levels of fat and calories can result in severe digestive distress and cause serious and painful conditions such as inflammation of the pancreas.”
Christmas trees with their decorations and seasonal foliage are the main focus of our homes at this time of year. Kat knows this all too well with her cat exploring the new ‘sparkly game’ as he likes to see it. It is important to remember mistletoe, holly and the popular poinsettia plant are poisonous and pose a high risk to our fur-families.
Kat added “From accidents involving inquisitive cats chewing through electric wires, puppies ingesting tinsel and toxicities from seasonal plants, I have unfortunately seen it all over the years in my emergency work. We encourage everyone to check wires and plugs are secured away from their pets reach, ideally replace poisonous plants with the fake variety and ensure pets aren’t left alone with those dangerous decorations”
With all the fun and madness some pets are very sensitive to the change in their normal routine which can result in nervousness, anxiety and behavioural issues. Kat suggests making sure your pets (especially your feline friends) have a ‘safe place’ in the house to make them feel comfortable. This can include places to hide and quiet spaces to retreat to, complete with water and a place to snuggle away from all the hubbub!
And let us not forget our outdoor pets at this time of year. Our rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens to name but a few popular pets can suffer in the cold weather. Ensure they have adequate bedding, a warm place to sleep, check them on a daily basis, increase their food/calorie intake and consider bringing them inside if there is an extreme temperature drop.