The Holidays can be a fun and exciting time for everyone, including your pets. They get to see friends and family and get lots of extra hugs and playtime. Beware though, it can also be a dangerous time. Follow these Holiday Pet Safety tips for a happy and healthy holiday season.
Tip #1 – No leftovers!
I know it’s tempting after eating all that amazing holiday food to share it with your pets, BUT DON”T! Many of the foods we eat can be toxic to our furry friends. Even non toxic foods that are rich and heavy can cause major intestinal discomfort. Visit the Humane Society website for a more complete list.
Tip #2- Mind the Tree
To tree or not to tree, that is the question. Every year we get a tree and always regret it. Our two fifteen year old cats always find a way to pee on it, and the dogs & our younger cat pull ornaments off the bottom. I think I’m finally giving up. But, if you still want to celebrate with a tree, take a few precautions. If the animals rip open presents, potty on the tree skirt or decide to climb the tree like a wild animal, consider putting an Ex Pen around the tree. It makes it easier if you put the tree in a corner. Also, leave the lights and ornaments off the bottom couple branches.
Tip #3- No open Door Policy
There will be A LOT of parties this Holiday season! If you are having a few friends and family over just remind them to keep doors shut at all times. Planning a larger shin dig? Consider leaving your pets in a bedroom or laundry room with a sign on the door that says “do not open”. This is just to make sure your pets don’t escape while no one is looking. It’s a good idea to have your pets wearing tags at all times and make sure they are micro-chipped. Google has a great microchip program!
Tip #4 Beware of Festive Plants
There are a lot of plants and trees that are toxic to animals. Some of our holiday favorites like holly, mistletoe and poinsettias can be deadly to pets. The safest choice would be to forego them, but if you can’t make sure to put the plants out of chew reach. ASPCA has a very in depth list of poisonous plants.
Tip #5 House Hazards
Tinsel, pine needles, wrapping paper, lights, wires, bows and other decor can sound like a party for people who love the holidays. Just remember that those items can easily cause an intestinal blockage for your pet. Blockages, if not treated, can be fatal. If your pet is vomiting, has diarrhea or shows any other signs of distress contact your vet immediately. Also, keep in mind extension cords, tree lights, and candles can be a fire hazard.
Kristen Corral, AMCP is a local pet expert and owner of Little White Dog Co. Pet Services.