Merry Cat-Mas and a Happy New Dog!

By Jean Schanberger

Whether this is your 1st, 5th or 15th holiday season with your pet, this special time of year brings some unique safety and comfort challenges for our four-legged friends. Use these tips and plan ahead to help your dogs and cats enjoy the holidays safely and happily!

So many of the bright shiny seasonal items that make human holidays so delightfully festive can be safety hazards for Fido and Fluffy. For example, in a pet’s paws and mouth, holiday decorations, ornaments, candles, holly, Christmas trees and tree stand water bowls, electrical cords, tinsel, gift package wrapping can be choking, swallowing, injury and even fire risks. Safety tip: keep these items out of areas pets can access unsupervised.

Nothing says Holiday Season like chocolates, turkey, ham, candies, popcorn, champagne and other alcoholic beverages, and many other kinds of yummy human treats. Unfortunately these consumables are delicious but dangerous to our pets, especially turkey bones that can splinter. Safety tip: keep pets out of food preparation and serving areas, and ask your guests not to share their plates and glasses with your pets.

This time of year Burbank’s temperatures really dip and pets accustomed to thirst-driven water drinking in warmer seasons sometimes reduce their water consumption. Water in outdoor dishes may get too cold and discourage a healthy water intake important to good health. Safety tip: monitor and encourage water consumption. Know what temperature water your pet likes, consider adding warm water to bowls and dry food.

Home for the holidays! Humans love welcoming family and friends to celebrate the season, and our homes are often at a busy pace. Some pets love it too but not all animals are, well, social animals. Safety tip: keep a close eye on doors. Know your pet’s tolerance for company and social skills. If they are not a fan, give them a safe place in a private room or crate/carrier during the festivities.

Some residents celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with fireworks or gunshots to start off the new year with a Bang! Like the Fourth of July, this is disturbing and disruptive to many animals and can lead to anxiety and even runaway pets. Safety tip: please consider quieter ways to celebrate! As midnight approaches, be sure your pets are in a safe and escape-proof place in case your neighborhood gets noisy.

Most of all, enjoy this wonderful season’s holidays, and give your pets an extra snuggle!