Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

At BMR Insurance Agency, we know how much our customers love their families. And we know that many people consider their pets to be part of the family, and some consider them their children. So we felt it was important to discuss some ways to make sure the four-legged family members stayed safe and healthy this holiday season.

  • If you celebrate Christmas, that will almost guarantee you’re bringing a Christmas tree into your home. If you’re bringing home a live one, please remember to securely anchor your tree so it won’t fall over—especially if you have cats (who will be prone to climb what they see as a lovely gift for them!). This will also prevent the tree water from spilling. The water can contain fertilizers that can cause an upset stomach for your pet. Plus, stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and if your pet drinks it, they could experience nausea or diarrhea.
  • When buying decorations for your tree, skip the tinsel if you have cats. And although they love playing with it, and are awfully adorable when they do, they can easily ingest it, leading to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. That will not make for a happy holiday!
  • It’s definitely a time of year for treats, candies and chocolates, but make to keep your pet’s feeding routine the same as possible during this time. Don’t feed them anything with chocolate or xylitol, and make sure they can’t get to treats on the table, reach unattended plates or into the garbage. Some dogs just can’t resist digging items out of the trash!
  • Is your dog a chewer? If so, please be careful which type of toys you buy for them, or receive as gifts. The stuffing or pieces ripped from a plush toy can get lodged in their esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are virtually indestructible; Kong toys are good examples of these, and many can be stuffed with dog-approved snacks to provide your dog with an appropriate treat.
  • The cliché of a cat playing with a ball of yarn is cute, but the reality can be dangerously different. The most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that (again) get caught in the digestive tract, and often require surgery. Stick to the red laser pointer, a ball too large to swallow or a stuffed catnip toy.
  • Did you know that mistletoe, holly and poinsettias are all poisonous to pets? They can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Many lily varieties can cause cats to suffer kidney failure, so choose silk plants or check the plants for toxicity on the ASPCA website.
  • Do not feed leftover bones to your pets, especially chicken or turkey bones! These can splinter and cause huge problems in your dog’s throat.
  • Keep batteries and wires out of pets’ reach, as a wire can deliver a potentially deadly dose of electricity for cats and dogs, plus a punctured battery can burn the pet’s mouth and esophagus.
  • Make sure your guests’ bags are safely tucked out of pets’ reach during parties and gatherings, preventing accidental ingestion of medications, sharp objects or foodstuffs.
  • If you’re hosting a cocktail party around pets, it might be the best idea to keep them in a room of their own. If guests leave their alcoholic beverages where a pet can drink them, it can cause illness, weakness, possibly a coma or respiratory failure.

By following these tips, you can ensure that the whole family has a safe and happy holiday season—without a midnight trip to the emergency veterinarian. And remember, call us to add any of those new fancy gifts—jewelry, watches, bikes, stand-up paddleboards, even cars—to your insurance policy. We’ve got you covered! BMR Insurance Agency: (714) 838-1911.

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