Holiday Treats and Pets: Top Tips for New Bedford Pet Owners

Every season brings on a brand new array of concerns or hazards for your pet. From holiday decorations to family gatherings, pets often suffer the most when special foods, new people, and party situations occur. It’s not just enough to know that chocolate is toxic for pets or that you should find a comfortable place for your cats and dogs to hang out when company comes over; you also need to know the best New Bedford pet tips to keep your pet safe. Holiday treats and pets should not mix but frequently do. If you need advice, support, services, or urgent care, make sure you contact Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth as soon as possible.

New Pets and Old Pets

Whether you have recently adopted a young cat or dog, share your home with a senior pet, or have an energetic “teenager” cat who rules the roost, there are things you need to know about providing quality care during the holidays. Even if you don’t have guests coming over who might accidentally let a pet out or get your pet riled up during a visit, holiday treats and pets, as well as other seemingly safe traditions, could pose a danger to cats and dogs. Be aware of the situation, never leave pets outdoors during this time of year when guests are over, plan ahead of time for how your pet will be cared for, and layout any ground rules to family and friends.

A quiet room is best for most pets. Crating might also be beneficial, but only if your pet is already crate trained. If you can lock the room, so guests don’t wander in and let your pets out by mistake, that’s even better. Provide a favorite bed, safe toys, fresh water, and some calming music or television to help buffer the noise. If your pet has a tough time with visitors or change of any kind, consider consulting with your veterinarian at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth to see if there are any recommendations to help keep your pet calm. The more you can do ahead of the holidays to ensure your pet’s safety and address behavioral issues, the better.

Holiday Treats and Pets

While it might seem safe to give your pets some holiday turkey or ham, the seasonings and other ingredients used in preparation might be harmful. It is best to get some pet treats that your dog or cat enjoys to provide them with something special on a holiday or during an event. This approach will give them something that they love while making you feel less guilty or likely to provide them with something that they shouldn’t have. Keep snacks, desserts, and holiday favorites out of reach, remembering that grapes and raisins, certain spices, and chocolate is toxic for pets. Don’t give your pet leftovers, bones, or scraps under the table and, if your pet will be out with visitors, make sure guests know not to do this either.

In addition to chocolate, grapes, and spices, many other foods can pose health problems for pets. Even if your pet has consumed them accidentally in the past without incident, it is best to avoid them altogether. Candies, particularly sugar-free candy with Xylitol, citrus fruits, citric acid, seeds and pits, coffee, raw eggs, nuts, onions, and salt, are just a few of the most toxic food items for pets. If your pet is a known trash digger, make sure to keep the trash up and away during this time of year when holiday foods and desserts are known to be around the house. Consider a trash box with a door that closes and latches to keep the bin safe and away from pets – and kids.

Seasonal Decorations

From Halloween to New Year’s, many decorations can be dangerous to pets. One of the best New Bedford pet tips is to just keep everything out of reach. However, this can be next to impossible for cats and dogs that climb and jump up on counters, shelves, and other common places for décor. Consider a decoration-free room to keep pets in while you are at work, out shopping, or entertaining. Watch out for things like pine needles, poisonous holiday plants, dangling decorations, holiday light cords, fire logs, and even candles. We see a lot of pets in our emergency clinic each year that have ingested things you might not imagine they would even be interested in consuming. Your best bet is to keep an eye on your pets at all times, don’t create tempting situations, and have a “safe space” to keep them in when you cannot monitor their behavior.

Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth

Contact our team directly to schedule a veterinary appointment or to speak with one of our staff for more New Bedford pet tips and seasonal advice about holiday treats and pets. Located in Dartmouth, we provide quality vet services and emergency care to clients throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Call today at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment, ask questions, or find out about any of the services we provide.