Holiday Pet Safety
We all want to include our furry friends in our holiday celebrations, but it’s important to remember that some of the holiday trappings we enjoy are not necessarily safe for cats and dogs.
Make sure that your pet has a safe holiday as well as a fun one by taking a few extra precautions with your holiday preparations.
Foliage & Greenery
There are many special plants and flowers that brighten up our holidays but most of them are dangerous to pets. Mistletoe, holly, lilies and poinsettias can all cause severe reactions and even death in animals, so make you keep them far out of your pet’s reach, or better yet opt for artificial plants that will be safe for all.
The Christmas tree can be a big temptation for cats and dogs with all those twinkling lights and shiny tinsel. Make sure your tree is well anchored so curious cats and dogs can’t knock it over and avoid using tinsel because it can become a choking hazard if swallowed. Glass ornaments should also be kept out of pets reach and make sure that curious pets don’t get into the tree water, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
Food & Alcohol
As responsible pet owners, we all know that chocolate and other sweets are dangerous for dogs and cats, but so too are most of the foods we eat at the holidays, so avoid giving Fido a taste of the leftovers. It’s best to stick as closely as possible to your dog or cat’s regular eating schedule so as not to upset their stomachs.
If you’re having a New Year's party, make sure you and your guests don’t set down discarded alcoholic drinks where cats and dogs can reach them. Since pets are much smaller than we are, even the tiniest sip of alcohol can have a drastic effect on them, causing them to become weak, ill and possibly even suffer respiratory distress. Also make sure that your guests keep any medications they may be carrying out of the reach of pets.
Be careful when decorating with lights or candles. Electric wires, when chewed, can deliver a potentially deadly shock. And candles could not only burn your animals but also cause a house fire if accidentally knocked over. If you’re going out of the room, be sure to blow out any candles. You should never leave lit candles unattended as a general rule of thumb, whether you have pets or not.
Finally, don’t forget that the holidays can be stressful for pets as well as humans. There may be a parade of guests coming and going, as well as a host of new sounds and smells, all of which can become overwhelming to pets. To counteract this, be sure to have a quiet, safe place away from the action where your cat or dog can take refuge. And for your New Year’s Eve party, limit the noisemakers and streamers.
It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but you also want it to be the safest so that you and your pets can rest easily. Make sure to take your pets unique needs into consideration as you make your holiday plans and it will a happy time for every member of your family. Woof! Woof!