Give your furry friends the gift of happy, healthy holidays with these holiday pet safety tips
Your pets can be a fun and welcome addition to the holidays, but a trip to the vet? Not so much. Here is a list of the do’s and don’ts for pet holiday safety to keep everyone feeling merry and bright.
DO pet-proof your Christmas trees
Secure your tree to keep it from falling if cats or dogs bump it. You can also hang lemon-scented air fresheners on the tree to deter cats from climbing.
DON’T forget the decorations
If you have cats, consider keeping tinsel off the tree, as it can be a choking hazard. Clean up broken ornaments quickly, to avoid any injuries, and keep wires for string lights or other decorations out of reach of curious chompers. Additionally, many holiday plants, such as mistletoe, poinsettias, lilies, and holly, can cause health problems if they are ingested. For pet safety without sacrificing decor, opt for pet-friendly plants or faux bouquets, wreaths, and garlands.
DO let guests know you have a pet
If you’re having friends and family over for the holidays, give them a heads up as a courtesy. If your pet is nervous around new people, give the pet a comfortable space to retreat, fresh water, and a toy to keep them company. If your pet is more social, keep an eye on your home’s exits to ensure your pet does not get out.
DON’T feed your pet people food
Holiday foods are great for people, but some of them are bad news for your furry friend. Keep these foods away from cats and dogs, and ask your guests to do the same.
- Grapes and raisins
- Turkey and turkey skin
- Table scraps (including gravy, fat, and animal bones)
- Xylitol, an artificial sweetener
- Yeast dough (such as dinner rolls)
DO act fast if you think something is wrong
Even while preparing for a safe and happy holiday for your pets, accidents can still happen. If your pet shows signs of sickness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or mood changes, call your local vet immediately. You can also contact the ASPCA poison control hotline at 1-888-426-4435.