The holidays are a very fun but hectic time. It’s easy to think that buying a few stocking stuffers for your furry friend is all the holiday prep you need to do for them, but there are also quite a few things to keep in mind for the sake of your pet’s safety.
1. Create a safe space for your pet
The holidays are a very hectic time and it’s easy for your pet to get stressed. Try to keep their routine as normal as possible, but when change cannot be avoided, make sure your pet has a place to enjoy some peace and quiet on their own. A pet kennel or room with some of their favorite toys should always be available to them so that they can retreat in solitude during parties, firework displays, etc.
2. Keep poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly out of reach
These festive plants add a lovely holiday touch to your home, but it’s very important to keep these plants out of your pet’s reach. All of these are poisonous to dogs and cats and can cause severe illness. If you bring any of these plants into your home, make sure to place them somewhere that your pet cannot access them.
3. No turkey bones!
It’s always tempting to give your pets a special treat when you are cooking a fancy dinner, but cooked turkey bones are not a good choice. The bones can splinter easily and cause injury to your dog’s gastrointestinal tract including the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines. If you’d like to share some human food with your pet, a bit of boneless turkey is fine, just make sure it doesn’t have any stuffing or onion, as too much onion can cause toxic anemia in dogs and especially in cats. If you want to give your dog a bone, make sure you understand which types of bones are considered edible and the benefits and possible dangers to your pup.
4. Keep an eye on candles
Whether they’re for a holiday tradition or simply for ambiance, candles are everywhere throughout the holiday season. You should never leave candles burning unattended,
but this is especially true if the candles are in a place where your pets could access them. Pets can easily burn themselves or knock over the candles and cause a serious fire. If you have one or more curious felines, it might be wise to consider "flameless" candles.
5. Keep pets away from Christmas trees
Unfortunately, this Christmas essential can cause a variety of issues for pets, especially if you choose to get a live tree. If you have a live tree, it’s important to create a barrier so that your pets cannot get a hold of any loose pine needles or drink the tree’s water. The pine needles can puncture your pet’s intestines if ingested and the water often breeds bacteria and/or contains fertilizers that can make your pet seriously ill.
Even if you go with a fake tree, it’s still important to keep your pets away from it as much as possible. If you can, skip the tinsel entirely. Pets, especially cats, love to play with tinsel, but if ingested the tinsel can cause very serious intestinal issues. If you can’t imagine a tree without tinsel, only use it on the higher part of the tree where your pets cannot reach it. The same goes for any breakable and/or edible ornaments that might harm your pet.
6. Be careful with electrical cords
All the extra electrical cords for lights and decorations can seem like new toys to your pets. Be sure to keep cords out of sight or taped down/protected in some way. If your pets chew on a wire they could get a potentially fatal electric shock or burn their mouth or esophagus.
Share your tips to make the holiday season safer for pets
Happy and safe pets make for a happier holiday season for everyone. Do you have some tips or advise to add for pet safety during the holidays? Let us hear from you.