5 Suggestions To Keep Your Pet Safe This Holiday Season

Posted by Karen Erdelac on Nov 22, 2022

5 Suggestions To Keep Your Pet Safe This Holiday SeasonWe all know how stressful the holidays can be. Shopping for the right gifts, decorating the house, putting up the tree, and having family and friends over for dinner. But did you ever stop and think that for all the stress you'll experience this holiday season, your pets will have an equally difficult time?

Here are some suggestions for keeping your furry family members safe.

1.  Keep calm and carry on – In the excitement of a party, be sure to have a quiet spot for your pet. A constant flow of friends and relatives can be traumatic to some pets. Don't force pets to interact if they don't want to. Place their crate or favorite bed in a separate room and bring their favorite toys, snacks, and water. Put on music to minimize the sounds of heated debate among family members.

2.  Keep people's food out of your pet's reach and ask your guests to do the same. Most of us know that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, but did you know that sugar-free candy containing the sweetener Xylitol is also harmful to pets? Other foods that can hurt your pets include

  • Bones
  • Garlic
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Nuts
  • Onions
  • Salt

·Trash: Pets who love to get at the trash can accidentally eat foods that are potentially poisonous to them. Keep garbage in tightly sealed containers or hidden somewhere your pet can't access.

3.  Deck the Halls – Christmas trees, decorations, candles, and plants can be dangerous to your pets.

Christmas trees - Secure your tree to keep it from falling over if your dog bumps into it or your cat climbs on it. Make sure your dogs or cats don't chew on the tree or its decorations. If you have a live tree, beware of pine needles. Pine needles could get lodged in the intestinal tract, puncturing the lining or causing an intestinal obstruction.

Christmas lights - Position your tree's lights away from the bottom of the tree where pets can reach them. Some pets climb up or into trees and can even knock them over.

Candles: Don't leave candles unattended. Pets may accidentally knock them over and spill wax or start a fire.

Plants: Several popular holiday plants are poisonous to pets, including ivy, holly, mistletoe, lilies, and poinsettias.

4.  Watch the exits. Even if your pets are comfortable around guests, watch them closely, especially when people enter or leave your home. While you're welcoming guests, your four-legged family member may make a run for it and become lost. Ensure your pet has proper identification with your current contact information on their collar or, even better, a microchip with up-to-date, registered information. That way, they're more likely to be returned to you if they sneak out. If your pet isn't microchipped, talk to your veterinarian about the benefits of this simple procedure.

5.  In the event of an emergency - Identify your closest 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic, write down the address and phone number and make sure you know their holiday hours. Be sure to keep the number for your veterinarian handy. Also, you can get expert advice from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. The Poison Control Center is open 24 hours a day throughout the year. Keep their number handy; it's 888-426-4435. 

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