Taking a few extra steps can protect animals from dangers they face during the winter holidays.
First, we can do some things for our dogs and cats, to reduce the chances of an emergency trip to the veterinarian’s office during the holiday season. Remember to keep companion animals away from things that are dangerous to them, during the holidays and always: chocolate; anything sweetened with xylitol; unattended lit candles; toxic plants like holly, mistletoe, lilies, and poinsettias; tinsel and unintended ribbon, which damage the GI system if ingested.
If there will be a crowd of people at home, it’s good to give the animals a place of refuge, whether it’s a quiet room, a special bed in the corner, etc.
In addition, we can avoid gifts that are involve cruelty to animals, such as down and fur; there are faux versions of both. Animals don’t make good unexpected holiday gifts, because the decision to bring an animal into the home is a lifetime commitment, which should be undertaken only after serious consideration.
Finally, we can make peace with animals by keeping them off the holiday table, choosing instead a vegan course, such as https://tofurky.com/what-we-make/roasts/feast/ or https://www.gardein.com/chickn-and-turky/classics/turky-roast, both usually available at Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Trader Joes, and possibly Publix or Winn-Dixie.
May you and the animals in your life have happy holidays!