5 Ways to Keep Pets Safe and Happy Over the Festive Season
Jingling bells, bright décor and lights, a towering tree in the lounge and lots of visitors and road trips… Not to mention the annual blanket of holiday tension.
As much as we love the Christmas cheer, our pets may not completely understand what all of the change and activity is about. Because of this, our furry friends could stick their noses in unsafe places or experience an unusual sense of anxiety. It’s up to us, as responsible pet parents, to make sure we keep them cool, calm and safe over the holidays.
Our pet experts at Poplar Petfood & Produce have plenty of ways to help you do this, and here are just a few:
1. Holly, Mistletoe and Lilies
These three beauties are very dangerous for dogs and cats to ingest, so if you have them in your house over the holidays be sure to keep them far out of reach. Better yet, maybe just opt-in for the fakies just to be safe! When ingested, holly can cause vomiting and diarrhea while mistletoe can cause serious gastrointestinal and cardiovascular issues. Many varieties of lilies are notorious for kidney failure in cats. It may make artificial plants sound all the more attractive!
2. Oh, Christmas Tree!
The Christmas tree takes centre stage during the holidays, and with all of those dangly ornaments, flashing lights and extra wires it makes for an attractive new toy. Keep your tree secured and anchored so curious cats aren't successful in pulling it down. Make sure the power and extension cords are tucked safely out of reach. And if you have a live tree, keep the tree water completely covered because they can contain fertilisers and bacteria that could make your pet very sick.
3. Festive Gatherings
If you’re planning to have one or more holiday gatherings at your home, be sure to prepare for your pet as well. Ways to do this:
a. Set ground rules for guests by letting them know ahead of time about your pet’s temperament.
b. If your pet gets upset by too much attention, give him a room of his own with toys, food and comfortable bedding. If your pet likes the attention, a guest or two may like to take him for a walk around the block, throw a ball to get some energy out or start a mild play session.
c. Music, laughs and conversation may get pretty loud after a while, so if you know your pet may be affected by this consider finding a place for her to stay the night away from the home.
d. If family or friends staying over have medications, make sure they tuck them away into a safe place where your curious, savvy pet won’t find them.
e. Many times, a pet may prefer to be outside away from the crowd. If this is the case, be sure that he is well-stocked and comfortable from the summer heat. Plenty of water, nice shade and a cooling pad are three ways to help him “chill out.”
4. Lollies and Table Scraps
Ah, so much food and lollies over the festive season! Pets seem to have a taste for them, too but too much can be damaging to their internal organs. Loads of table scraps, especially if it’s outside of their normal diets, can wreak havoc on their digestive systems while xylitol, found in chocolates and lollies can be fatal if eaten in abundance. Just be safe and keep your pet on their regular pet food diet. Poplar Petfood & Produce has tons of fun little treats made specifically for their bodies, including ones that are for the Christmas season.
5. Ring in the New Year
Counting down to the new year also brings with it confetti, candles, fireworks and poppers. Please be considerate of your pets mental and physiological health by making sure that they do not ingest any confetti (which could lead to surgery!) and to have a very safe, quiet space from all of the noise. Loud pops and fireworks are terrifying to most animals and could even cause damage to their sensitive ears if it’s too close for comfort.
The festive season comes and goes in a blink of an eye, but to pets, it can be an overwhelming, traumatic time. We highly recommend treating your pets to one of the calming products we have in stock. These include:
• Blackmore’s PAW Complete Calm – tasty kangaroo-based chews that contain Tryptophan, B group vitamins and a blend of multivitamins and nutrients to support general health, stress and anxiety in dogs.
• Feliway – for cats, and helps to reduce signs of stress such as urine spraying, scratching or hiding. It is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone that cats leave naturally when they feel safe and secure in their environment. Available in a diffuser, spray and scratching post applicator.
• Adaptil – for dogs, and helps to reduce signs of stress by replicating their pheromones to help dogs and puppies feel reassured and relaxed in challenging situations. Available in a diffuser, travel spray and “calm collar.”
• Calming pastes – such as Ranvet Calm Paste for horses or Value Plus 4 Calming Paste for both Horses and Dogs, which contain Tryptophan, Magnesium and B group vitamins to reduce anxiety.
If you would like more information on how to keep your pets happy and safe over the festive season, don't hesitate to visit our friendly pet experts at Poplar Petfood and Produce. You can also bring your furry friends in for a visit and let them pick out their holiday treat!
Written by Miranda Altice for Poplar Petfood & Produce