The Most Important Holiday Safety Tips For Pets

The holiday season is a time of joy, festivities, and togetherness for many families around the world. Amidst the hustle and bustle, it’s crucial not to overlook the safety and well-being of our beloved furry companions. From decorations to seasonal treats, various elements of the holidays can pose risks to our pets. To ensure a joyful and hazard-free celebration, here are some essential holiday safety tips for pet owners:

Keeping Your Pets Safe During the Holidays: Essential Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners

1. Secure the Decorations

Tinsel, lights, and ornaments: Pets are naturally curious, but chewing on decorations like tinsel or string lights can lead to serious health issues if swallowed. Opt for pet-friendly ornaments and securely fasten decorations out of your pet’s reach.

Christmas tree safety: Secure your tree to prevent it from toppling over if your pet decides to explore it. Avoid using chemicals in the tree’s water, as they can be harmful if ingested.

Seasonal Plant safety: Both mistletoe and holly are toxic for dogs and cats. Holly berries contain compounds that can cause stomach problems, but if your pet eats mistletoe, it can lead to cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and even central nervous system damage. The bright red and glowing white leaves of the poinsettia are commonplace during the holidays, but this plant is dangerous for both dogs and cats. If eaten by your pet, the plant can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Consider using fake plants to decorate your home for the holidays.

2. Mindful Feasting

Pet-friendly treats: While celebrating, ensure your pet isn’t indulging in human treats that could be toxic to them, such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, or certain nuts. Be cautious about cooked bones, as they can splinter and cause internal injuries.

Moderation is key: Introduce new foods gradually and in moderation to avoid upsetting your pet’s stomach. Just because your pet cannot enjoy the same holiday dishes as you, doesn’t mean it can’t have a treat of its own. It is safer to just stick to their regular diet as much as possible to prevent digestive issues.

If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. Signs of pet distress include sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).

3. Create a Safe Space

Quiet retreat: The holiday season can be overwhelming for pets due to increased noise and visitors. Create a quiet, comfortable space where your pet can retreat if they feel stressed or anxious. Provide enrichment activities to keep your pet occupied while you have guests over.

Watch the exits: With guests coming and going, pets might be more prone to escaping. Ensure they are wearing identification tags and that microchip information is up-to-date in case they get lost.

By establishing a tranquil area and permitting your pet to welcome your visitors at its own pace, your festive gathering can become an event that delights both human and furry attendees.

4. Manage Stress

Stress reduction: Changes in routines, loud noises, and unfamiliar visitors can stress out pets. Consider using pheromone diffusers or calming aids recommended by your veterinarian to help alleviate their anxiety.

Stick to routines: Maintain your pet’s regular feeding, exercise, and playtime schedule as much as possible. Consistency can help alleviate stress during this busy time.

Our pets are cherished members of the family, and naturally, we wish to include them in our holiday celebrations. However, any disturbance to their routine can cause undue stress or potentially hazardous circumstances.

5. Be Cautious with Gifts

Pet presents: While it might seem festive to include your pet in gift-giving, be cautious with toys or items that could pose a choking hazard or have small, easily swallowable parts.

Gift wrap and packaging: Dispose of wrapping paper, ribbons, and packaging materials promptly. These items can be tempting to curious pets but can cause choking or intestinal blockages if ingested.

The holiday season is a time of joy, but it’s important to ensure that our furry companions are safe and happy amidst the festivities. By being mindful of potential hazards and taking proactive measures to create a pet-friendly environment, we can make the holidays enjoyable for both humans and pets alike. Always consult with your veterinarian for specific advice regarding your pet’s health and well-being during this time. Here’s to a safe and delightful holiday season for you and your furry friends!