With the summer and holiday season here, it’s time to consider the needs of the furry members of the family. Holiday decorations, Christmas trees and remnants from opening gift can pose risks to our pets.
We caught up with RSPCA Qld Principal Scientist, Dr Mandy Paterson, who provided helpful advice for Pet Owner & Pet Sitters to keep in mind for the Christmas season.
Firstly, we need to ensure Christmas trees cannot topple over and hurt our pets, or tempt them to play by having dangling ornaments within easy reach. If you are using a real tree this Christmas, it is best to prevent your pets from drinking out of the tree waster bowl.
It may contain preservatives which are dangerous and if the water sits there for any length of time, harmful bacteria may built up in it. When decorating your tree and storing presents under it, consider your pets. Are they likely to try to eat any of the decorations, the tree itself or rip into the presents? Is your kitten likely to see the tree as a new climbing frame? If the answer is a resounding yes or you are unsure it might be best to leave a bare zone on the tree at the base. Also, in these circumstances never leave the pets unattended in the room with the tree and keep the presents out of reach.
“Check the floor carefully for any wayward pine needles or ornament hooks, which can cause serious damage if swallowed. For added safety, consider replacing metal ornament hooks with tightly knotted fabric or twine loops,” Dr Paterson recommends.
And food gifts, such as chocolate, smell great to a pooch’s sensitive nose and be dangerous if they eat them. Dr Paterson says to keep food gifts stored out of reach of pets, and once gifts are open to immediately discard the wrapping paper and ribbons. Always remember to keep a close eye on your pets. The holiday period usually means more visitors which may increase the risk of doors and gates being left open.
Sadly, it is a time of the year when our animal friends may get lost. Be sure your dog’s ID tags and microchip are up to date and include your mobile telephone number. For anyone going on a trip over Christmas, many loving local Pet Sitters can be found through PetCloud. Happy Holidays!