Deck the halls with boughs of holly and prep your pets for the winter because Christmas is almost here! It is indeed one of the happiest times of the year with gifts, treats and lots of warm cuddles. And that’s how it should stay. But with Christmas comes the raspy winters that can be harsh for your pet. Not to forget the festivities that keep you on your feet at all times; in such situations, your pet can easily land themselves in trouble.
To keep them safe and healthy at all times, here are some vet-approved Christmas and winter tips for dogs and cats:
Pet-proof the Christmas tree
The first and foremost thing to do is to put a fence around the Christmas tree. Ingesting the leaves of the Christmas tree can cause an upset stomach for your pets. Since we often use artificial Christmas trees in India, it is important to ensure that your pet doesn’t ingest the leaves of the tree as they may cause an obstruction in the airway.
The dangling ornaments and branches are the number one reason for your pet to jump on the tree. The best way to ensure your pet doesn’t get to the tree is to put a fence or a puppy pen around the tree. For extra safety, you can anchor the tree to the ceiling with a hook. Or keep the tree in an off-limits room. You can even get a small faux Christmas tree that your pets cannot jump on or try to eat.
Many pets topple the Christmas tree over, so you must take precautionary measures.
Take extra precautions with the Christmas lights
“These are shiny, pretty and they look like my favorite squeaky balls!” That’s exactly what your pet thinks about Christmas lights. It’s very easy for your playful cat or dog to get tangled with the Christmas lights. These accidents can cause severe injuries to your pet. It’s best to tape over any electrical cords or tuck them in a corner so that your pet can’t chew on them. It is also recommended that you fasten the lights to your tree properly.
It’s very easy for pets to get tangled in Christmas lights, hence, you should fasten the lights tightly.
Avoid poisonous decorative plants
According to an article by VetsNow, popular Christmas decorative plants like mistletoes and hollies can be toxic for your pets if ingested. English and Asian variants of these plants consist of poisonous saponins that are responsible for causing gastrointestinal problems in pets. The viscotoxins found in mistletoes are also extremely unsafe for your pets. If any of the Christmas decorations consist of the lily plant, you should keep it away from your pet as lilies are extremely poisonous too. What you can do is, hang these decorations up high or avoid using them.
Keep Christmas treats out of reach
Christmas time means lots and lots of treats in the house. Christmas cookies and cakes usually include dried fruits, raisins, sugar and other ingredients that are toxic for pets. Your pet can sniff these treats from a mile away, so you have to try your best to keep these foods away from them. You can hide your Christmas treats inside high cabinets or lock the drawers with baby-proof latches. During parties, when the food is lying around - keep a close eye on your pets. A good tip is to make Christmas special treats for them that are made with pet-safe ingredients.
Before Christmas day arrives, start brushing up on your pet’s obedience skills. This will help you ensure that your pet is on their best behavior when you have guests over. Training also helps pets feel comfortable and calm around new people. Some commands you’d want to go over are - sit, stay, drop it and come. If your pet gets anxious around loud sounds, it is recommended to sensitize your pet for the fear of loud sounds like fireworks. Wiggles.in has a special program that deals with anxiety-related issues in pets. Call +91 8431620000 to know more about The Anxious Pet Program.
Check into dog boarding homes if you’re traveling
If you’re traveling during the holiday season, you can ask a trusted friend or a family member who has experience taking care of pets to look after your pet. Or you can opt for a good and safe dog boarding home to make sure your pet stays safe and happy even when you’re not around. You should also ensure that your pet is sensitized against separation anxiety so that they do not develop behavioral problems in your absence.
Keep the doors & windows closed
Don’t let the chilly air make your pet ill. Keeping your doors and windows closed is one of the things you can do to keep your dogs and cats warm in winter. It will not only keep them protected from the cold air but also block out any noises of fireworks or crowds that can make some pets anxious.
Don’t leave candles unattended
Leaving candles unattended is a big no-no. They are one of the major hazards you need to look out for. If you’re lighting candles make sure you light them in places where your pet cannot go or reach. Keep a close eye on your pets when they’re near any kind of potential hazards. Alternatively, you can crate train your pet, teach them commands like sit, stay and no or build your pet their own comfy corner to keep them away from any hazards.
Step up their grooming game
Winter care for dogs and cats is of the utmost importance. Their skin needs extra care as the cold weather can cause dryness and even cracks on their paws, snout and elbows. Use Heal O’ Rub to keep their skin and coat moisturized and protected. Senior pets are also prone to aching bones & joints in the cold weather; hence you must massage their limbs to keep pain at bay. Hemp Seed Oil and CannaPaw® relieve pain naturally without any side effects.
Wiggles Heal O’ Rub
Wiggles Hemp Seed Oil
- Keep your vet’s number handy
While you’re busy during the Christmas party, your pet could sneak into the kitchen to grab a treat for themselves. To avoid any panic situations, you must keep your vet’s number handy at all times. For an emergency, opt for an online video consultation or call your nearest vet. Know in advance which vet in your area is available 24x7 and keep their contact details handy as well.
Wiggles.in is always here to help you and your pets out. Our team of vets, trainers, groomers and specialists are experts in their respective fields and will try their best to help you and your pets out. Always here for you at +91 8431620000.
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*Disclaimer: This blog is vet-approved and includes original content which is compiled after thorough research and authenticity by our in-house team of vets and content experts. It is always advisable to consult a veterinarian before you try any products, pet food or any kind of treatment/medicines on your pets, as each pet is unique and will respond differently.