Saturday, December 6, 2014

Holiday Hazards for Small Pets

The Holidays are here and to many animals, it can be confusing or even stressful. We see a lot of safety tips for cats and dogs, but they are not the only animals that can come in harm's way during the Holiday season. Small pets including rabbits, hamsters, hedgehogs, chinchillas, gerbils, guinea pigs, rats, birds, and more are also prone to accidents and/or injury during the Holidays.

depositphotos/Taden1

The good news is that accidents can be prevented if you know what's dangerous to your small pet. We have a list of some Holiday Hazards to watch out for this season.

  • Wires - Many of the small pets listed above love to chew on anything they can get their paws on. Keep wires to Christmas lights and decorations out of your small pet's reach. 
  • Christmas Lights - Some of the lights we use to decorate our homes with can also be hazardous to a small animal. They could cause burns or if your pet decides to chew on the light, this could also cause injury by broken glass. 
  • Fire and Open Flames - Candles and lighting the fireplace are popular this time of year. Of course, any flame can cause burns to your pet so make sure to keep them away from these things. 
  • Candles - In addition to the hazards above, the fumes from many candles are not safe to use around birds and are toxic to them. 
Depositphotos/Natalia7
  • Food - Not all Holiday foods are safe for small pets! While each species has its own special dietary needs, the list of foods unsafe for pets is pretty standard. You should avoid feeding chocolate, alcohol, sugary and salty foods, and anything sweetened with xylitol.
  • Stress - The Holiday Season can be a stressful time for any pet. There are new sights, sounds, and smells going on and your pet may not understand why. Most exotic small pets are nocturnal, including hamsters, hedgehogs, and even leopard geckos. Decorative lights or music turned on during your pet's sleeping hours could cause loss of sleep and result in stress. Be mindful of when your pet is trying to catch some shut eye. 
  • Stangers - Family and friends entering your home could also be stressful to your small pet. If small children wish to hold your pet, make sure you explain to them how to handle them first. If you are not comfortable with this, then simply don't allow it. 
  • Plants - Plants like mistletoe, poinsettia, holly, and others are toxic to animals. Because many small pets like to eat greens and plants, it's best to keep these away from yours. 

If your pet has been injured or is ill, please contact your veterinarian immediately. If you suspect your small pet has eaten something toxic, you should also contact a veterinarian. There is also a Pet Poison Helpline you can call. 

The Holiday Season should be a time of celebration. By following these tips and keeping your small pet safe during all the festivities, you should have no trouble! No one wants to make an emergency trip to the veterinarian on Christmas Eve after all. 

If you have any extra tips for keeping small pets safe this Holiday Season, please share them with us in the comments!

18 comments:

  1. I hope all peeps&pets have a safe christmas and no one has to rush to the ER. the christmas lights on the tree are really a problem, Easy got entangled last year :o(
    Easy Rider

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    1. Oh no! Poor Easy... that has not happened to us before. I will be worried about Jack and Gus chewing the wires to the tree because they like to chew wires. So I won't be able to trust them like I did Nibblet.

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  2. We hope everyone pays attention and keeps the little ones safe!

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  3. The cats are our smallest animals, but with cat bro Bert there is no cat proofing as he is into everything no matter what. Bailie took a ball ornament off the tree this morning and dropped it on the wood floor...smash...what a mess. I think maturity is the best medicine at our house.

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    1. Oh no! I have the same problem with little humans sometimes. One year, my little human pulled the Christmas tree down.... thankfully there weren't too many broken things.

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  4. Great things to keep in mind! Christmas isn't always easy when you have pets of any kind, there's so much we need to be cautious about! We're trying to figure out how we can have a tree this year with a one year old klepto puppy in the house. LOL

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    1. Oh goodness... well good luck with that! lol

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  5. Pawfect timing with this message. I've never really thought about the "little creatures" before. Hope many people read this and pass it on - I will for sure. Thanks

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  6. Good tips you have to watch out for the little ones! Love Dolly

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  7. We don't know small pets very well, and it's very interesting to learn how to help them enjoy the Holiday Season ! Purrs

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  8. Too right, great tips and we should all watch out for the little ones human and animal. Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  9. Thanks for sharing these tips. You're right, small animals need to be considered too during the holidays. We hope they all stay safe and sound. :)

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  10. Thank you for the important tips...we have a lot of small friends!

    Noodle and crew

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  11. Great advice, so important to keep us safe during the holiday period xx

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  12. These are great tips!
    We can't forget about the small pets safety either!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  13. These are great reminders! So wonderful to see a holiday pet hazard article for small animals. :)

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  14. Great post! I will be sure to share!

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Thank you for your comments!

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