Holiday Pet Safety Tips
Holiday Safety Tips
With the holidays coming up, many pet owners will be including their pets in most of the family festivities. It's important during this time to try and maintain a regular schedule and routine to your pet's eating and exercise habits. Basic holiday safety tips for your pet include keeping pets away from unhealthy treat, toxic plants decorations.
Seasonal Plants and Decorations
Holiday Food Dangers
- Christmas Trees: Secure your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip or fall unexpectedly. This is a holiday safety tip not just for your pet, but for you as well. This will also keep the water for the tree contained. Fertilizers that may be in the water will cause an upset stomach if swallowed by your pet. Stagnant tree water is also full of bacteria and could cause nausea or diarrhea if ingested by your pet. Avoid placement or situations where your pet could run into the tree.
- Mistletoe & Holly: Avoid mistletoe and holly. Either of these when ingested by your pet can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause stomach upset and cardiovascular problems. Lilies which are also popular during the holidays can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Choose artificial plants made of silk or plastic for a pet-safe decoration.
- Tinsel: Tinsel is especially attractive to cats because of their sparkle and light-catching properties. However, due to the shape and size, cats may chew and swallow the tinsel accidentally. This can lead to an obstructed digestive tract that can cause vomiting, dehydration and surgery for removal.
- Holiday Candles: As a precautionary with all candles, don't leave them unattended. Pets can burn themselves or cause a fire if the candles are knocked over. Be sure your candles are in proper holders on a stable surface out of reach from your pets. Put the candle out if leaving the room.
- Wires and decorations: All electrical equipment such as wires, batteries should be kept tidied and out of reach of your pet. Glass and plastic ornaments should also be kept out of reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.
- Skip the Sweets: Do not feed your pets chocolate or anything sweetened with xylitol or artificial sweeteners. Be sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates and food. Cover or secure leftover food. Also secure lids on garbage cans to keep pets out of the trash.
- Leftovers: Do not feed your pets fatty, spicy or no-no human foods. This includes not giving pets bones. If you feel the need to include your pets on the eating festivities, you can prepare some pet treats.
- Alcohol and Cocktails: Another holiday safety tip includes placing your unattended alcoholic drinks somewhere that your pets cannot reach. Alcohol, if ingested by your pet could cause them to become ill, go into a coma, weak, or have respiratory failure or even death from respiratory failure.
- Selecting Special Treats: Will you be preparing a stocking or presents for your pet? Keep to chew toys and pet snacks. For cats, avoid ribbons, yarn, string or loose small items that can get ingested. Try a cat toy or stuffed catnip toy. There are many pet friendly toys and healthy natural snacks that will provide your pet with entertainment.
Visit People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets
page for more information.
Planning a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering
- House Rules: Make sure your guests know you have a pet and understand how to handle your pet. If your pet does not do well with guests, it may be a good idea to keep your pet in a separate spacious private area away from the noise.
- Put Meds Away: Keep medications locked and behind secured doors. Let your guests know to secure their meds or belongings as well. It may even be a good idea to designate a secured area out of your pet's reach for guests belongings.
- A Room of Their Own: Provide your pet their own quiet space to retreat to with water and a place to snuggle. Puppies and kittens may hide under furniture or try to get away from the noise. Be sure you have a carrier in a separate room that they can retreat to easily.
- New Year's Noise: New year's festivities and counting down to the new year sometimes includes throwing confetti and the like. Strings and confetti are dangerous for pets. A holiday pet safety tip would be to avoid having any of these items. If ingested, they can get lodged especially in cats intestines. Surgery may be necessary for removal. Noise poppers can also scare pets and cause damage to their ear drums. Some pets are also scared of fireworks. Be sure that your pets can be in a safe and quiet place that is escape-proof when midnight approaches.