Holiday Pet Safety

Family pets receiving gifts for Christmas - dog a kitten with sm

The holiday season is a special time for everyone in the home. But with all the hustle and bustle, sometimes we can forget how special of a time this can also be for our family pets. Here are seven helpful hints to keep you and your furry friend happy and healthy this season:

  1. Careful of the Christmas tree: While the twinkling lights and popcorn strings may be a wonderful addition to your home, the tallest tree can also be a hazard to your furry friend. Be sure to stabilize and secure your tree to prevent it from falling over and injuring your pet who might be beneath. Also, be aware of the bacteria and fertilizers that are found in the tree water. This can upset your pet’s stomach and cause terrible nausea if ingested.
  2. Seasonal plant sickness: Play it safe this season and opt for artificial plants made from silk or plastic, and keep them out of paws reach. Holly can bring nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when ingested, and mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular issues. Other plants to watch out for: poinsettias, lilies, daffodils, and amaryllises.
  3. Put out the fire: Keep in mind where you place your candles and don’t leave them unattended. If knocked over, pets can cause serious burns to themselves or create a fire in the house. Make sure to set them on flat, stable surfaces and in the appropriate holders.
  4. Not-so-delicious decor: Ornaments may look like shiny new toys to your pets, so be sure to keep them far enough away to prevent damage to your pet’s mouth, teeth, and digestive tract. Batteries and wires can cause potentially lethal damage through burns and shocks to your pet, so tuck them away for a safe playing area.
  5. Toss the Table Scraps: While the kids may think it’s fun to feed Fido under the table, these holiday foods are more likely to make your pet sick to their stomach. Fatty leftovers, meat drippings, and bones can cause internal injury and vomiting, and can lead to worse cases like obesity and pancreatitis.
  6. Season of Sweets: With all the extra holiday treats and goodies lying around, make sure to keep your pets away from the table and secure and store away garbage to prevent your pet from getting into something they shouldn’t! Be especially careful with sugar-free snacks that contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is poisonous for your four-legged friend!
  7. Room of rest and relaxation: The holiday festivities can be a bit overwhelming for your furry friend, so give them their own quiet space to go when they need a break or two from the holiday tunes and chatter. Stock the room with fresh water and comfort items, like a pet bed or their favorite toy.

For more information, go to aspca.org