Keeping Your Pets Safe During The Holidays
Keeping your pets safe during the holidays means understanding holiday dangers for pets as well as safe ways to include them in the festivities. Remember, temptations abound for everyone during the holiday season, including your furry friends. There’s no need to leave your pets out of the festivities – just be careful about the types of food they eat and make sure they do not overindulge and watch them around the holiday decor.
Holiday Tips for Pets: The Decor
Before you bring out decorations, do a careful assessment of your home. Choose the safest possible location for all of your festive flourishes so they’re out of reach of pets and children.
Decorations, Lights, and Candles
While many items look beautiful and harmless to us, a shard of glass from an ornament, strands of tinsel, and even those cute hand-crafted cookie/playdoh or macaroni ornaments your kids made in school are all holiday dangers for pets. Skip the string-style tinsel. Dogs, and especially cats, absolutely love the sparkle from tinsel which can cause irreparable internal damage if ingested.
- Make sure electrical wires are tucked out of sight
- Keep ornaments and lights well out of reach of curious paws
- Remember to blow out Menorah candles/holiday candles every night
Festive Plants, Trees, and Holiday Wreaths
Keeping your pets safe during the holidays means being aware of traditional plants. Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, holly, and lilies look deceptively nice. Poinsettias do, too. However, when it comes to being safe for pets, they all belong on the naughty list since they can cause serious medical problems ranging from nausea to serious kidney failure and heart issues. Play it safe and opt for artificial holiday arrangements instead.
Pine needles (real and artificial) from wreaths or holiday trees can also seriously injure your pet if they are ingested. If you have a live Christmas tree, you also want to keep your pet away from the water as they may be getting a dose of tree fertilizer or other harmful chemicals with their drink.
Gifts and Wrapping Paper
Make sure that those beautifully wrapped presents are kept out of your pet’s reach, especially during gift opening time. From Styrofoam peanuts and plastic packaging to batteries, candy, and shiny twist ties, there’s a tantalizing treasure trove of temptation and holiday dangers for pets.
More reading: Pet Safety Around Holiday Decorations
Holiday Tips for Pets: Seasonal Foods and Treats
While pleading eyes and various antics might melt your heart, resist the temptation of sharing food with your pets. No under-the-table treats please! Fatty foods can cause some nasty digestive problems for your pets, so be sure to keep them out of reach.
The GOOD List (in moderation, of course)
– Green beans (plain, steamed, or boiled)
– Baby carrots (raw or cooked)
– Apple slices (small, thin slices)
– Celery – add a smear of natural, unsalted creamy peanut butter
– Plain canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
The BAD List
– Turkey – while small amounts of skinless meat can be safe, it’s best to avoid
– Stuffing – chock full of ingredients that can harm your pet
– Mashed potatoes – too much butter and other fats
– Candied yams – too much sugar, butter, and other fats
– Gravy – far too rich for pets’ tummies
– Candy – especially chocolate
– Pie or other desserts
Guard the Trash Containers
Your trash container is also going to be filled with a variety of scraps, foil, plastic wrap, and food waste that could harm your pet if they get into it. Keep all trash containers well covered and away from pets – behind closed doors if possible.
Now that you’ve taken some necessary precautions to keep your pets safe around holiday decorations, from our AZPetVet family to yours, we hope you enjoy your holiday season!
Want to learn more about holiday safety and pets? Visit some of our past holiday blogs:
Let’s Have a Pet-Safe Thanksgiving
Have a “Pet Safe” Thanksgiving
Christmas Holiday Safety Reminders
Holiday Tips for Pets: Watch Your Pet’s Behavior
If you see sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately. Find a local AZPetVet animal hospital near you.
If you believe your pet has been poisoned or has eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately.
ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 888-426-4435