When the holidays are here, we naturally want our pets to join in the celebration. Our pets are extensions of our families. Naturally, we want to include them in our holiday family photo to send out to family and friends, or to spread all over our social media channels.. But there are some safety concerns to take into account when we’re celebrating the holidays with our pets and when we’re taking photos with them.
We decided to whip up some common issues that pet owners can run into during the holidays with snapping photos of their pets so that you’ll know to avoid them.
Your Christmas Tree May Be Toxic
A Christmas tree is a staple for many holiday celebrations. The smell of a fresh Christmas tree brings a holiday feel, and decorating the tree with ornaments and lights is a great family activity that leaves a pretty sight. However, the tree itself can be harmful to our furry little pals. As pet owners know all too well, dogs and cats can be drawn to the smell and natural feel of plants and trees. It can be very difficult for them to resist the urge to licking and rubbing up against the branches and needles. However, these branches and needles can cause nausea in cats and dogs alike. Plant allergies are common for pets, and depending on where your tree was cut, it could carry those allergens into your home. Additionally, the evergreen branches contain oils that can irritate the mouth tissue of your pet. Mouth tissue irritation can induce vomiting and digestive issues for your pet that will make the holidays far less enjoyable. Additionally, the needles can also get caught in the intestinal tract and puncture the lining of your pets stomach, which will require a trip to the vet.
Try not to let let your pets confuse the tree water for a watering dish. The tree your bring home for the holidays may look beautiful, but the tree is in fact dead. Since it’s dead, the watering dish it stands in will be a breeding ground for bacteria. Some trees are treated with a chemical to slow down the rate of decay in the tree, which can be poisonous to your pet.
If you’re planning to use the decorated and well-lit Christmas tree for a backdrop to your holiday photo with your pet, make sure you cover the watering bin and keep a watchful eye on your pets. While the tree is up it’s best to restrict access for your pets.
Careful on the Food Scraps
Food and the holidays go together perfectly. And while the cute, harmless eyes of your pets looking up at you requesting you throw them some table scraps is tough temptation, you want to avoid feeding the holiday food to your pets. You need to stand strong when they’re giving you’re their best beg. Not all table scraps are harmful to pets, but it’s better to play it on the safe side. Small breed dogs can be especially sensitive and develop a disease called pancreatitis, which is caused by eating high-fat food. It is recommended that you don’t feed your pets from the table, but if you feed anything, offer small amounts of vegetables or meat. Though, with meat makes sure that there isn’t any bones in the meat and do not give your dog the turkey bones to play with. Bones can be dangerous to dogs. Sugary foods such as pies, cookies, and puddings should especially be avoided. The last thing you want during your holiday is break is to have to run your pet to the emergency clinic because they got into something they weren’t supposed to, or because you or a family member fed them table scraps.
As it pertains to your pet photos, while it might be adorable to share a holiday photo of your dog lapping up a bowl of Grandma’s famous cinnamon apple pie, doing so can put your pet at risk.
Avoid Decorations as Props
This one is a something that always starts out as completely innocent, but one that can go downhill and ruin the holidays in a hurry. Your pet photo will truly look amazing if you fasten a green glass-bulb ornament to their collar, or create a ribbon made from tinsel for them to adorn.
However, most veterinarians will strongly recommend doing this as they’ve seen the result of when it goes poorly. Tinsel is a foreign body waiting to happen, especially for cats who are notorious for swallowing string. Your cat will not be able to digest the tinsel, which will require being removed surgically. While garland tinsel is a little bit better, since it does have tiny strings it can still cause an obstruction and give your cat a rough holiday season filled with difficulty eating, digesting, and vomiting.
As for glass ornaments, they can cause serious lacerations in the mouth if bitten into. No matter how nicely we ask our pets not to bite certain objects, most will dive mouth first into the objects as soon as we turn our backs. If the and if the glass breaks, sensitive paws are at high risk for serious cuts as are your dog or cat’s gums. Some pet stores and online retailers will manufacture edible ornaments for your pets to avoid this, but before buying them and placing them on Fido or Whiskers, have a chat with your veterinarian about the ingredient the ornaments are comprised of.
Try and Take the Picture Quickly
Your pets may not be used to spending time with many of the family members that you’ll be placing in the family photo with your pet. Being around strangers will give many pets anxiety. Especially if you’re holding them out to pose for the photo. You’ll want to help make your pets feel comfortable and secure before the photo. Try playing with them for a bit or giving them a treat. When you’re ready to snap the photo, try and do it quickly. We all have that Aunt that is never satisfied with the family picture and insists to take it over again and again and again. Try and convey to her how hard this is on your pet, and only snap a few with your pet in the picture. Then, take the dozens of reshoots she insists upon once your pet takes off.
We know that your cat simply looks too darn cute wearing a collar that gives them antlers and that your dog makes for a fine elf when he’s got on a green holiday vest. When you’re picking out the perfect holiday prop for your pet to wear during the photos, try to find something that doesn’t bother them too much. As cute as some of the props may be, if your pet is highly irritable it’s going to be difficult to get a good shot anyway. When you’re at the pet store or shopping online, consider picking out a few options and then testing them out on your pet ahead of the photo shoot. Keep the one they like the best and return the others.
Learn More Holiday Tips at PetPlace
The holidays are a wonderful time of the year. I mean, there’s an extremely famous and popular song suggesting that it’s the most wonderful time of the year! However, these exciting times also bring about lots of questions concerning your pets. Especially if you have a new pet that your family members and friends are not familiar with. PetPlace is a great resource for you to learn all about common Holiday issues that you may encounter. Take a look at this guide for introducing your new pet to family and friends during the holidays.
We love Holiday pet photos as much as anyone. If you snap some great photos of your pet this year, make sure to share them with on our social media channels!