Pets do not understand “holidays” as a concept, every day is the same to them. They do see our excitement and react to it, sometimes by letting their self-defense instincts go dormant. Pet safety is entirely up to pet owners.
Are you considering getting a new pet this year?
Christmas morning is a wonderfully chaotic time. Introducing new pets (especially to young children) can be fabulous but has some risks. Imagine your children’s disappointment when their new holiday pets react with terror to the delighted squeals and many new faces wanting to hold them by biting or scratching someone. Prepare your family by discussing the responsibilities of pet ownership and care and do the research that will tell you which dog or cat breed fits best into your family situation.
Rather than adopting right at Christmas, if a new pet is in the plan, make it one of your New Year’s resolutions. Give the kids a stuffed animal or pet gifts as preparation then go to the shelter or pet store and let the children join in the choice.
Holiday Décor is Holiday Danger
Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias – as well as potpourri – are dangerous if ingested, though not usually fatal. Cats are climbers and love shiny objects – including Christmas trees. Dogs love to run (especially when other dogs come to play) and, the larger the dog, the bigger risk of running into something. Tinsel, broken ornaments and strings of lights are choking and burn hazards. Edible decorations, like strings of popcorn or cranberries, are ticking time bombs. Anything you add to the water in your Christmas tree stand to keep your tree fresh-looking is nothing your pet should ingest. Even if your decorations don’t hurt your pet, nobody wants to hear the Christmas tree come crashing to the floor.
Cats and many dogs love to play in boxes, but wrapping paper, ribbons, and strings can be choking hazards – either by swallowing or getting wrapped around their necks. If your pets love “boxing”, clear the trash, then let them go to town!
We don’t want to think about disasters, but a little planning can prevent tragedy. Be ready with the phone number for your vet or a 24/7 emergency clinic and the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline – 1-888-426-4435.
San Francisco families will make many holiday memories this year, let’s make all of them happy. At Nor Cal Vet of Daly City, we want to see your pet, but we’re happy to wait for their regularly-scheduled check-up.