So in recent weeks we have discussed the treats that pets should avoid and how to keep the tree standing this holiday season. However, there is one more thing that is common at this time of year in almost every household - gifts! Whether gathered around a menorah, under a christmas tree or exchanged with love, gifts are a common theme this holiday season.
There are some things to think about when both giving and receiving gifts.
Firstly, always try to give a thought to what you are gifting and whether the family you are giving it to has animals in the house. If you are giving something edible, especially something on our “Top ten things to avoid this season list” consider using a solid container like a pretty holiday tin that is harder for the pet to get into. You may also want to consider giving the receiver a heads up that it may be this gift is better opened and enjoyed sooner rather than later. This takes the temptation away from the pet and avoids surprises like gifts that have been ripped open and consumed over night.
Additionally, consider the wrapping. Pretty packages that sparkle and twinkle in the holiday lights will also attract pets to them. Depending on the pets in your own home some families choose to wait until christmas eve to put the gifts under the tree, or block an area off so that their pets can’t get to the gifts before the hoomans do. Cats will be cats and even if something is already in a bag (like a gift) there is very little stopping a curious cat from crawling in as well.
And finally there is nothing like the joy of trying to wrap gifts under the ever attentive eye of your cat. Boxes and bags to jump in, tissue paper to crumple and wrapping paper to flatten. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-r-petty/christmas-wrapping-with-t_b_6329470.html But in all seriousness the pretty ribbons that adorn many gifts can be extremely dangerous for cats. The long ribbons often encourage chewing both on and off the gifts. These ribbons can not only cut the tongue or the intestines but they can become lodged in the gastrointestinal tract and cause a life threatening obstruction called a linear foreign body. If you have cats, or if you are gifting things to people that have cats, then it's better to skip the pretty dangly ribbons and cards the are on ropes. Even attaching ornaments on the top of gifts can encourage chewing if the ornament is hung by a cord. Instead look to the stick on bows that don’t come apart easily, stickers, stamps or just the pretty paper itself.
As always if you have any questions about something your pet or something they have gotten themselves into the vets at Healthy Pets are always just a phone call away! We wish you all happy gifting!