Holiday Pet Safety Tips
The turkey is in the oven, the halls are decked and the gifts are wrapped, but do you know where the cat is? With all the excitement of the holidays, sometimes we can lose track of our four-legged family members, only to find the cats chewing on the décor or the dog eating through the kitchen garbage after a family feast. Follow the holiday pet safety tips from our Veterinarians below all season long.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Décor
Make sure to keep decorations and ornaments up and out of reach of curious pets. Instead of glass ornaments, look for non-breakable options (such as metal or plastic), since pieces of broken glass ornaments can be easily swallowed or stepped on.
Keep an eye out for any loose confetti or tinsel that might be in reach of pets, especially cats. These little eye-catching pieces of plastic can lead to blockage in the digestive track, if swallowed.
Poinsettias aren't deadly to pets, but if eaten they can cause pets to vomit and have digestive upset, so keep them away from animals.
Candles can set the celebratory mood and they can become a fire hazard with an unsupervised pet moving around. A bump of a table or the pulling of a tablecloth can lead to a candle tipping over. Don't leave any lit candles unsupervised and keep them in sturdy holders.
If you put up a Christmas tree, either real or artificial, make sure it's properly secured. Curious cats may like to climb on it and larger dogs can easily knock them over.
Glowing lights or moving décor are sometimes too good to pass up for some pets. Make sure to unplug or turn off any decorations to prevent harm and possible fire hazards when you leave the house or go to bed at night.
Dogs and cats can get be startled by holiday noise makers and poppers. If you have noisemakers at your celebration, set your pet up with their own quite space, away from the party.
Food Faux Pas:
While humans relish in the chocolate goodies of the season, this sweet treat is dangerous to pets. Keep chocolate candy sealed and out of reach, and if you think your pet may have ingested chocolate, call your veterinarian.
A holiday turkey can be a major stomach concern to our four-legged friends. The skin on the turkey is soaked in oils, seasonings, and fats, which may lead to stomach pain and even pancreatitis. Also be sure to keep your kitchen garbage out of reach or covered, since the turkey bones can be a particularly dangerous choking and digestive hazard if pets get their paws on them.
Advise your dinner and party guests to not feed your dog any scraps to avoid digestive upset. If your dog tends to beg near the table at mealtime, put your dog in a quiet room during the feast to avoid temptation.
Think being around lots of people makes you stressed? Just imagine how your pet feels! Make sure to keep an eye on your pet’s behavior for any signs of anxiety.
During family gatherings or large parties, keep a cozy space secluded so your pet has a place to go and relax during all the excitement at a holiday party.
If you are concerned with your dog or cat getting loose as your front door opens and closes during holiday gatherings, consider keeping your pet in a secure place in your home, with toys and fresh water. Playing calming music in this room may help to soothe them or distract them from the noises in the rest of the house.
Loading up the car to head to Grandma's house for the holidays? Buckle up you and your pets. Loose pets in a car can be a danger, both as a driving distraction and as a projectile (if there were to be an accident). Secure pets as you would the rest of your family – there are special harnesses and car crates for pets – to keep everyone safe.
Keep a leash handy in the car, not packed away. In the event your car breaks down in transit, you may need to exit your vehicle quickly with your family and pet. Even in a minor fender bender, pets can escape when a frazzled owner steps out of the car to assess the damage.
If you are flying with your pet, try to limit how long your flight time is, avoiding connecting flights to prevent any delays and risk of the airline misplacing your very important cargo.
Make sure to pack food, plus water and bowls.
Bring along your dog's favorite toys so your dog has something from home to keep him occupied when visiting a new house.
Please note: If your pet's health status or behavior changes suddenly in any way, call your veterinarian. He or she can help rule out any underlying medical issues as well as make additional recommendations, beyond these general holiday pet safety tips.
Finding an animal hospital is critical if your animal is hurt or quite ill. I like your advice about secluding your pet during large gatherings in order to allow them to relax. If my dog were to get sick, I would make sure to find the best animal hospital in my general vicinity.
12/2/2019 04:51:52 pm
That's a really good point that your pet can be anxious because of all the people. I got a new puppy this summer. We'll have to ensure we have an animal hospital we can take him to if need be this season.
6/8/2021 08:45:47 am
Hey there, dude! This is a very useful article. Adopting a puppy has always been a dream of mine. Though I am concerned about what might happen if I did not able properly care for my pet! However, after reading your post, particularly the section about décor, I'm feeling more confident about having a pet.
9/28/2021 08:10:44 pm
I like your vet tips. My cat is sick. I'll have to get him meds.
12/1/2021 07:59:51 pm
I like how you mentioned that it is important to make sure your pet is safe because loose pets can be a danger. My sister mentioned to me that she is planning to consult a veterinarian because her pet is not able to walk properly and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article and I'll be sure to tell her that she can consult a well-known animal hospital as they can answer all her inquiries and will provide good care for her pet.
1/3/2022 08:52:27 pm
I like your tip about loose confetti. My cat will eat anything, especially if it is made of plastic. I should probably take her to the vet to make sure she hasn't ingested anything bad.
3/8/2023 02:00:06 am
It's great that you elaborated that you should provide proper guidance for your pet to ensure their safety. A couple of days ago, my cousin told me she planned to have her pet vaccinated to prevent unwanted viruses and diseases. She asked if I had any idea what would be the best option to consider. I'll tell her she can consult a well-known animal hospital as they can provide more information about the process of vaccination. I like this instructive article.
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