Holiday Pet Safety to Keep Your Days Merry and Bright

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in full swing, there can be many seasonal temptations around the house for curious cats and dogs. Fortunately, with just a few extra steps, you can enjoy a holiday full of cheer while keeping your pet safe.

General safety tips when it comes to decorating your home:

  • Make sure to pick up ornament hooks, tinsel and ribbons.
  • Keep lit candles out of your pet’s reach—high on a counter or a sturdy table so they can’t be knocked over.
  • Remember, popular holiday plants and flowers, particularly mistletoe berries and holly, are poisonous to pets.
  • If your animals get nervous around strangers or crowds, keep them in a quiet room when having guests over.
  • ALWAYS make sure that your pets have proper identification—a collar/ID tag and a microchip ID implant—in case they escape or become lost.

If you have a Christmas tree, keep these tips in mind:

  • Beware of gifts under the tree that might contain unsafe food items—especially chocolate.
  • Make sure to keep the water stand covered. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria that can make your pet sick if consumed.
  • If your cat is tempted to play with ornaments, decorate the bottom third of your Christmas tree with non-breakable plastic or wooden ornaments.

Like people, pets are drawn to holiday food! If you are planning on hosting any parties, remember these guidelines:

  • It’s best to give your pet appropriate pet food instead of table scraps.
  • Keep holiday food—especially chocolate, grapes, raisins and onions—away from your pets. They can lead to illness and potentially be fatal.
  • No hungry dogs near the turkey! Turkey bones can easily choke pets.
  • If your pet does ingest any of these or is showing signs of illness, contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Megan Rees