7 Holiday Pet Safety Tips

By Megan Moon, Community Engagement Manager

We know you’d like your furry family members to be included in your holiday celebrations, and it’s important to keep your pets safe during the festivities. Here are 7 tips to ensure your pets are happy and healthy this holiday season.

  1. Minimize Holiday Feasts for Furry Friends – There are many foods that can cause serious health problems for pets, including chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, foods sweetened with Xylitol, and other holiday treats. Be sure to keep unattended plates of food out of reach of pets. Securing trash can lids can also keep pets from helping themselves to spoiled food or leftovers.
  1. No Christmas Tree Catastrophes – A tall Christmas tree filled with ornaments and lights can be very intriguing for pets, but they’re also full of hazards. Properly secure the tree so it doesn’t fall. Also, cover the tree water, which can be full of bacteria and/or fertilizers that may pose a health risk if your pets drink it. Be careful when selecting ornaments for your tree, as glass ornaments can break and cause injury.
  1. Tinsel Trouble – Tinsel is so shiny and fun, we can’t think of any cats who could resist its stringy, sparkly appearance. However, tinsel poses health risks, including an obstructed digestive tract and even surgery if ingested. We recommend not using it at all if you have pets in the home.
  1. Plenty of Privacy – The holidays aren’t just stressful for people. Pets can become overwhelmed by the noise of holiday parties and people. Having a quiet space in which to hide or relax can go a long way in relieving symptoms of stress for cats and dogs. Just be sure your pets have access to fresh water in their peaceful hideaway.
  1. Safe Stocking Stuffers – Pet store shelves are loaded with cute and fun holiday-themed toys, but some of these can fall apart easily and cause intestinal damage or blockage. The best toys to give to your dog should be practically indestructible, such as chew toys or Kongs. Recommended cat gifts include balls and durable toys stuffed with catnip.
  1. Be Wary of Wires – Electrical wires should be kept out of reach from our four-legged friends. Chewing on cables and cords can result in dangerous electrical shock. Cover cords with rugs or reposition furniture so your pets cannot access them.
  1. Protect your Pets from Plants – Lots of plants which we commonly have in the house around the holidays can actually be quite hazardous for pets. Plants such as mistletoe, poinsettia, and certain varieties of holly and lilies can cause health problems including cardiovascular issues, kidney failure, and/or gastrointestinal complications. Stick to artificial varieties of these plants to be safe.

We hope you and your pets will enjoy very happy (and safe) holidays together!

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