The holidays are a joyful time of the year for gatherings with friends and family. Anyone who has pets would consider them to be part of that family celebration, except that many do not realize the many warnings, dangers and possible risk that may face your four-legged critters at this hectic but joyous time. To ensure your pet is safe and healthy, contact your local Knoxville-area veterinarian as listed below or a vet closest to your home for tips on how to keep your animals safe and healthy during this time of celebration.
It is so easy to get caught up in Christmas decorations, gatherings and gift-giving that the pets in homes tend to be tossed aside and forgotten. Rules seem to be lax as everyone is engrossed in the events of the season, which can be more than what your pets can endure. Not only does the excitement cause undue stress for the animals, there are so many other things to be aware of that can cause harm to your pets during any time of holiday joys.
The number one warning most pet-parents hear is that table scraps and people foods cause more harm than good for your four-legged family members. Most foods we enjoy as humans have toxic effects on the delicate body systems of our pets. In addition to the dangers of people-foods, it is also important to keep poisonous plants out of reach. Being aware of the most toxic foods and plants can help you to keep your pet from getting sick or worse, putting a real damper on your celebrations. No one wants to see any family member get sick, especially when there is joy in the air.
Along with the dreaded chocolate items that needs to be banned from a pet’s diet, be aware of mince pies containing raisins and any foods with high-fat content that can lead to pancreatitis. Included in the banned food categories is the sugary Christmas cakes & pastries, any alcoholic or caffeine beverages, ham and poultry bones, nuts like macadamia, garlic, onions & chives, any products containing yeast, gravies, milk, poultry skins and anything that contains Xylitol.
Be sure to keep holiday plants like the Christmas wreaths, holly, lilies, mistletoe berries, amaryllis and poinsettias out of reach of all pets. If out of reach is not an option, like the acrobatic kitties, choose safer plants to decorate your home. There are so many options that does not endanger the lives of your pets.
Other tips to consider in keeping your pet safe and healthy is to:
- First ensure that all lights are safely out of reach when decorating, tying up excess cords from the inquisitive animal
- Ornaments must also be safer varieties, especially those within reach. To guarantee safety measures, never leave any decorations and lights, including that festive Christmas tree unattended.
- Other hazardous décor may be the warmth of candles, never to be left around your pets without strict supervision.
- Sometimes the joys, large gatherings and family parties alone can cause your pet to be stressed. If you have a pet that is not fond of the noise and huge crowds, it is best to set up a quiet area with toys, bed, blankets and water (along with a litter box for the kitty of the home) where your animal will feel safe and secure until the last guest has left. You will feel happier and your pet content. This is also a good idea during thunderstorms and fireworks that can frazzle even the most relaxed pet.
It just takes a little more time and effort on your part to ensure the health and safety of the furry family members before, during and after holiday celebrations. It is always best to be safer than sorry with proper planning and precautions. Holidays are for all family members of all sizes, shapes and “species”.
Knoxville Village Vet, 11301 Kingston Pike, Farragut, TN 37934, Tel: (865) 966–8900, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Knoxville Central Vet Hospital, 1212 W. Clinch Ave, Knoxville, TN 37916, Phone: (865) 525-1167
Knoxville Emergency Vet, 1819 Ailor Ave. Knoxville, TN 37916 | (865) 221-8956
Knoxville Animal Behaviorists – College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, 2407 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996
Knoxville Petsmart, 214 Morrell Rd, Knoxville, Tennessee 37919, (865) 691-2194 or (865) 675-1191 Petco, (865) 212-1095 or (865) 671-1864 for Pet Supplies & Grooming needs