Including our pets in the holidays is an important tradition for most families. They take up the tradition of attacking the Christmas tree, using tiny claws to peek into presents, and of course wearing sweaters that cost more than most college students’ rent.
As we begin to relax and spend time with those closest to us, we can inadvertently put our furriest members at risk. Here’s a list of six things to be mindful of with our pets in the holidays.
1. Deck the Halls
It’s not the holidays unless decorations are in full bloom. While holiday plants are beautiful and festive, many of them are not safe for your pet. Poinsettia’s, azaleas, holly, and mistletoe (gorgeous as they are) are mildly toxic for animals. The dangerous ones (especially for cat owners) are lilies and yew. These cause extreme reactions and should never be in the house.
2. Mark The Gifts
When gifting to family or friends make sure to mark when a gift is not pet friendly. You don’t want them clawing in and snooping their nose into something that can be harmful. They’ll thank you for it, and the owners will as well.
3. Eating off the table
While it’s nearly impossible to say no to those begging eyes, be careful what you’re feeding your pets off the table this holiday. Holiday food can be loaded with ingredients which are delicious and harmless to us, but toxic to animals. Raisins, grapes, Alcoholic beverages, chocolate, coffee, onions, fatty foods, yeast dough, macadamia nuts, and chocolate are dangerous to animals and need to be treated with care this holiday.
4. Ribbons and Bow ties
Realistically we all know that no matter what present we get our pet, nothing will top the classic cardboard box and wrapping paper. There’s something pure about watching your pets actively ignore your $100 gift and be enamored by the free box it came in. Just be careful there are no ribbons or bows attached to those boxes - they can cause choking or harm to animals if ingested.
5. Tree etiquette
While these are the centerpiece of most holiday homes, they are nothing more than an oversized, pine flavoured chew toy for your pet. With that in mind, be safe in how you choose to decorate them. Keep breakable ornaments out of reach from an attack which can knock it over and be ingested. This same goes for tinsel and garland.
6. Home Cleaning
While you can try to keep everything organized and safe for your pets, sometimes things can slip through the cracks. A home cleaning will give you the peace of mind to enjoy your holiday and know that everything is safe and sound for your furry family members. And until January 1st, AspenClean will be donating $10 from every new job booked to the BC SPCA to help support the animals who need a home this holiday season.