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How to Make Sure Your Furry Friends Have a Safe and Healthy Holiday Season

holiday pet safety tips

It’s especially important to pay attention to potential sources of injury for your pet during this time of year. Here are some of the most common things to watch out for to make sure your dog or cat has a safe and healthy holiday season!

Keep People Food Away

Your pet is sure to want a piece of the delicious food it smells you cooking, but if you really want to make sure your pet has a good holiday, give him his favorite meal and let him eat away from the dinner table. Warn guests not to feed pets table scraps. Surprising foods like onions and garlics are poisonous to dogs. Be sure to keep chocolates and candy in cabinets or drawers where they can’t be eaten, as they can be extremely dangerous.

Decorate Carefully

All those decorations you think look festive look like toys and treats to your pet. Traditional holiday plants like Poinsettia, Holly, and Mistletoe are poisonous to animals, and those decorative trinkets can be choked on by your pet. As for tinsel, it’s better to forgo it than risk having your pet eat it. Cats are known to be very attracted to the movement and shine, but if they eat it it can be caught in their intestines. The dangers don’t stop there, Christmas tree needles can be eaten and puncture intestines, and tree lights can electrocute your pet if they decide to chew on it. You don’t have to stop decorating, but you do need to be careful. After all, you don’t want this situation on your hands.

Double Check Costumes

If you decide to dress up your dog (or cat, somehow) in an elf costume or reindeer antlers, make sure they can move properly and there’s no danger of them ingesting part of the costume or being choked. Always remove the costume before you leave them home alone, and don’t make them wear it if they truly hate it!

Talk to Guests

If you have guests in town staying at your house, make sure you advise them to keep their belongings out of reach from your pets. Especially if they have medication, advise them to put it where no creature can reach it, keeping in mind that cats can be sneaky! Warn them that animals can be attracted to yummy smelling soaps and lotions, which they may eat and get sick. No one wants their expensive face cream eaten!

Don’t Give Pets as Gifts

A puppy or kitten on Christmas morning may seem like a good idea, but unless it’s been thoroughly discussed and planned for it’s generally not a good idea. If you surprise your children with a pet, do so knowing that you will be responsible for caring for it. And if you decide to give a pet as a gift, we highly suggest you look at local rescues. Make sure you introduce your new pet to any current pets before committing. It’s a big change bringing in a new family member, so it’s important to have an adjustment period before jumping into anything.

Prepare for Fireworks

New Year’s Eve can be very scary for pets. The boom of fireworks causes a lot of anxiety, and many animals runs away. Take precautions, like making sure your pet is safe and secure from getting loose. These tips from Modern Dog specifically for New Year’s Eve are helpful, too. Give them some toys to play with and put on the television for some distraction, and don’t forget to check up on them occasionally if they seem bothered by the noise.

What You Can Do

Don’t forget to give your pet some Holiday love, too! Give them gifts and give them love. When it gets busy, make sure they have a space of their own to escape to, and keep them busy and exercised. Here’s to a happy holiday season to you both!