It’s hard to imagine that a season dedicated to celebrating life, family, health, and happiness might have dire consequences. The truth is, however, the holidays can put a curious pet in absolute peril. While owners commonly seek to include their family pet in the festivities, ignoring the basic tenets of holiday pet safety can be sheer folly.

Setting the Scene

We love the holidays and enjoy offering tips for winter safety and how to have a pet friendly holiday. However, we also know the holidays are incredibly demanding of your time and attention, and it’s hard for a pet to compete. To get a firm handle on holiday pet safety, your pet’s needs should remain a top priority with adherence to everyday routine.

Your absence from home and the constant distraction of visitors can be highly distressing to your pet. Ensure they have their own quiet, soothing place to which they can retreat (like their crate). Also let us know if you need a reputable boarding facility or pet sitter to mitigate any possible stress for your pet.

Decking the Halls

Decorating your home is one of the perks of the season. Garland, wreaths, lights, and other items do well to elevate your seasonal space, but festive decor has the potential to endanger your pet. Please use the following cautiously or not at all:

  • Tinsel or popcorn string can cause painful gastrointestinal obstructions
  • Lit candles and hot oil potpourri should only be on inaccessible surfaces
  • Poinsettia, mistletoe, amaryllis, and holly are poisonous
  • Light strings are enticing to teething pets, causing electric shock
  • If left on the floor, extension cords, lights, and other electric decor can entangle your pet
  • Pine needles can perforate the GI tract – use artificial greenery or vacuum fallen needles every day
  • Snow globes may contain antifreeze so display them somewhere they cannot be knocked over
  • Presents containing food should never be stowed under the tree
  • Other Tips for Holiday Pet Safety

    We recommend microchipping your pet or updating your contact information associated with an existing chip. This reduces the risk of being separated from your pet while out and about or if he or she darts outside while you’re entertaining.

    Also keep an eye out when preparing a festive meal – and while you’re cleaning up afterwards. Trash should be taken outside throughout the process and secured in a proper bin. Lastly, your pet must avoid:

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Fatty meat
  • Alcohol
  • Turkey bones
  • Gravy
  • Uncooked dough
  • Blink of an Eye

    The holidays seem to come and go so quickly; make sure you take time to enjoy your pet. This could mean spending a quiet night at home or having him or her accompany you to a holiday event. If socialization and training methods are at their best, both you and your pet can enjoy all the season has to offer together. A long run in the park, walk along the river, or even just extra cuddles are among the best gifts you can give your best furry pal.

    Please let us know if you have additional concerns or questions about holiday pet safety. From our family to yours, we wish you a happy, healthy holiday season!