The winter holiday season can be an exciting and stressful time of year. Unfortunately, it is often our pets who pay the price for the accidents and forgetfulness that can happen in many households when we humans celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Pet owners in Fall River and the surrounding Southeastern Massachusetts area need to be careful with their pets during the fall and winter seasons when the weather gets bad, and the temperatures get cold. However, layering in all of the festivities of the holidays can increase the dangerous situation in many homes, so it is important to learn all you can to protect your vet and prevent an emergency visit to the local Dartmouth vet hospital.
Step One: Party Animals
Are you having a big holiday gathering at your home this year? Take time to think about where you will keep your pets when your house gets over-run with people. Consider keeping them in a bedroom with a locked door. Keep the key on you for emergencies, but a locked door will prevent guests from unknowingly opening the wrong door on the way to the bathroom and letting your fur babies loose. If the door does not lock, at least put a baby gate or some other type of safeguard on the door to the room Consider hanging a sign on the door that says “Do Not Open!” and put another sign on the bathroom door so your guests won’t be opening every room in the house. Make sure to provide food, water, and bedding so your pets can be comfortable during your party.
Step Two: Boarding Arrangements
If you are going out of town for any length of time, consider boarding your pets with a trusted service that will provide them with the care that they need while you are out of town. While some people prefer to have a neighbor look in on pets while they are out of town, it is best to leave your pets in the care of a professional provider, such as your local South Coast veterinarian or a reputable boarding facility. Not sure where to go? Consider asking your vet the next time you come in for a veterinary check-up. They can recommend the best places in your local area so you won’t have to worry about your pets while you are on a holiday vacation.
Step Three: Tree Safety
A holiday tree is the center point of any Christmas celebration. Unfortunately, it is also a huge temptation for pets. Cats like to climb and gnaw on the branches, while dogs frequently get in trouble by urinating on the tree or chewing on wires. Safeguard your tree while you are away at work or running errands throughout the day. Always unplug your tree when you aren’t there to supervise. Consider getting non-breakable plastic ornaments instead of using your good glass heirlooms and make sure to secure the tree so it won’t fall over and hurt one of your pets. Some homeowners put a little gate around the tree when they aren’t home to keep dogs away and deter cats from climbing.
Step Four: Holiday Foods
Another common issue faced by pet owners in Fall River is all that holiday food. Thanksgiving turkeys, chocolate candies, and other dangerous ingredients can be hazardous to cats and dogs. Speak with your South Coast veterinarian about what foods to be most careful with during the holidays and learn all you can about trigger foods and ingredients that can be harmful or even deadly if consumed. If you have any of these toxic foods in your home, make sure that they are locked up and out of the way to prevent cats and dogs from getting into them. If an accident occurs, contact your local Dartmouth vet hospital and bring your pet in for an emergency veterinary check-up right away.
Step Five: Anxiety Issues
Some pets have anxiety issues, especially if there are loud noises and celebrations. This can put your pet at risk for bolting, running out the door, and getting hit by a car. If you have a nervous pet or a pet that reacts to lightning, thunder, and fireworks, consider speaking with your veterinarian about medications and treatments that can be used to help calm your pet during holiday celebrations. Start making plans to help your pet avoid anxiety issues far in advance of your party to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
Schedule a Veterinary Check-Up
Just before the holidays, make sure to schedule a veterinary check-up at your trusted Dartmouth vet hospital. Our team can ensure that your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations, which is important in boarding or traveling situations. We can also help pet owners in Fall River and the surrounding area take care of any health or anxiety issues before the holiday parties even begin. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 and speak with one of our veterinary team members to schedule an appointment or to learn more about the quality services we provide here at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.