The Christmas season is upon us and it’s time to make merry. What this also means that it’s time to be extra careful about pets around you. Festivals, no matter what can be a stressful time for your pet, with all the people coming and going, the lights and sounds and noise, and of course the heaps of food that may be harmful to them. Your pets may unknowingly run the risk of getting a holiday-related disease or injury.
Here are some of the things you need to take care of –
Keep away the chocolate
Some of the most seemingly harmless things can actually be fatal for your dear pets. Chocolate, for instance, contains theobromine, a chemical compound that makes it extra delicious. If kept in an area that is easily accessible for your dog, it will attract them and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, and in some serious cases, even death. Don’t use edible decorations on your tree; they will be sniffed out and eaten. If a gift contains chocolate, don’t leave it under the tree.
Keep your vet’s emergency number handy
Veterinarians are used to seeing a lot of holiday mishaps so they will know the best way to tackle any unseen medical emergency. It’s vital that you keep your vet’s and your local 24-hour emergency facility’s contact details on hand, at all times.
Carefully place your Christmas decorations
Holiday decor is pleasing to the eye, but not for your pet’s health, especially if they eat it. Dogs may chew on the glass globes and other shiny decorations, which can lacerate their gums. They may ingest small pieces that result in stomach problems. Also, remember to keep electrical wiring away from pets. Try purchasing non-toxic, chemical-free decorations. Take steps to prevent Christmas trees from falling over by ensuring a safe distance between your pet and the tree.
Check the food you feed them
Prevention is always better than cure. Most holiday illnesses among pets is due to food. Keep them away from sugar-free baked goods, as they that contain xylitol which causes vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures and even liver failure. Avoiding alcohol is a no-brainer. Even desserts that contain hints of alcohol are a strict no-no. It can cause weakness and even death.
Keep a control on the crowd
Guests during Christmas is common, but it doesn’t always please your pets the same way it lightens you up. Too many new faces in the houses can upset your pet and increase their stress levels. Give them time to adapt, manage too much crowd and make sure you introduce them to your pets as well. Be patient with them and they will open up to your guests in their own sweet time.
Maintain a pet timetable
Pets look forward to their feeding and walking time, so we suggest you don’t make changes to those. Instead, work your plans around their timetable so as to not disturb their lives. It helps maintain a sense of normalcy and reduces any form of stress and anxiety for them.
Create a safe space for your pet
Lastly, but most importantly, create a safe space for your pets to escape all the festive commotion. Maybe use a spare bedroom or utility room where they can play in peace. Put in their favourite toys, give them plenty of water and food at regular intervals, place their bed, and don’t forget to check on them and spread the festive love, too!
About the Author:
Srivatsava Gorthy is the Founder and CEO of Unikorn. After working nearly 8 years at Google, Mountain View, he decided to take a break and bring some puppies home. Steffi (Yellow Labrador) came home when she was 8 weeks old and Tyson (German Shepherd) came home when he turned 5 months. That is when he realized that being a full-time pet parent isn’t an easy feat. After a year of bringing them up, he knew he had to launch something that would make lives easier for pet parents like him. Thus, Unicorn was born in 2016.
When not busy managing Unikorn, Srivatsava likes to spend time with his wife, play with his two kids, aged 7 and 2, and of course, take care of his two beautiful pets. He lives in the heart of Silicon Valley in California and travels to India quite often to work with his team.