By Dr. Jean Hofve
The holiday season, while a happy time for most
people, can be a stressful and even dangerous time for pets.
Their routines are upset, visitors abound, and extra-tempting
smells are coming from the kitchen!
Sharing is one of the most beloved aspects of the
holidays, and it’s fine to share some turkey and other
goodies with your pets. However, the caution about feeding
“scraps” remains in effect - do not give your cat or dog any
dinner discards, like turkey or ham bones, or fatty items
like turkey skin. These can cause serious tummy upset; in
dogs especially, too much fat can trigger life-threatening
pancreatitis. Ask dinner guests to refrain from feeding
“under the table” - or better still, keep pets safely confined
during the festivities. Chocolate, of course, is toxic to
both dogs and cats - they’re safer with
treats than sweets! After dinner, be sure the garbage is
secure from any sneaky paws that may come prowling after the
rest of the family is asleep!
The holiday season can be very stressful for our pets.
Natural remedies, like flower essences for anxiety, herbs for stress, and
homeopathy for stress, can help cope with the increased hustle and
bustle. Help your pet handle the visitors and excitement of
the holidays with
SpiritEssence Holiday Stress Stopper,
HomeoPet Anxiety remedy,
Only Natural Pet Just Relax Flower Essences, or
Only Natural Pet Relaxi-Herb Herbal Formula.
A Christmas tree may be irresistibly tempting to explore
or even climb, so if you have one, make sure it's in a sturdy stand,
and if necessary, secure it with twine or wire to keep it
from falling. Do keep your pets away from the water in the
stand, which can contain toxic tree sap and other chemicals.
Use a “tree skirt,” or wrap a towel, sheet, or other barrier
around the base of the tree and stand and tape it securely,
or otherwise make the area inaccessible to your furry
Keep glass ornaments to a minimum if you must use them at
all, and place them higher on the tree, with unbreakable
ornaments lower down. A broken glass ornament is a minefield
for tender little paws. If a pet eats all or part of a glass
ornament, immediately feed cotton balls or bread soaked in
milk or cream; the soft material will gather up all the
sharp pieces and guide them safely through the digestive
system and out the other end! Keep other small or breakable
holiday decorations out of reach.
Lights and wires on the tree and around the home pose an
invitation to chew for both cats and dogs. Make sure all wiring
is in good condition. For wires that are easily accessible
to curious mouths (especially young animals or those that
like to chew things), run the wires through inexpensive foam
pipe insulators (available at any home improvement or
hardware store). Of course, never leave the lights on
overnight or when you aren’t home to supervise; many house
fires have started that way!
Metal tinsel is rare these days, but Mylar garland and
decorations can also pose
a hazard if swallowed. Its sharp edges can cause serious
damage to a pet’s intestines. If your pet is young, or likes
to chew on ribbons, garland and such, consider beaded garland
instead. Also, when unwrapping presents, make sure all
ribbon and string is safely disposed of - these can also be
hazardous to pets if ingested.
Parties and visitors increase the risk of a cat slipping
out through an open door; make sure all your pets are
micro-chipped and wearing collars and ID tags. (If your pet
needs a new collar this holiday season, check out our
stylish selection!) If possible, provide a “base camp”
for your pet that includes food, water, bed, scratching
post, and litter box, in a room that’s less likely to be
disturbed. No decorations in that room, please, especially
lit candles! (Of course, unattended burning candles are a
serious hazard any time of year!) To make base camp even
more comforting to your pet, spray
Only Natural Pet Phero-Soothe around the room, or put a
dropper full of
flower essences in a spray bottle filled with
spring water, and spritz the area.
A little extra care and attention will make this holiday
season a safe and joyous one for the whole family!
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