The Difference Between Fun and Fear? Holiday Pet Safety Tips You Can Count On
The holidays are about many wonderful things but pet safety is always at the top of our list when this time of year rolls around again. While family, love, togetherness, gratitude, and community are collectively celebrated, holiday parties and gift-giving exchanges can reach epic proportions. Between the indulgent offerings table-side and the dazzling decorations, pets can be headed for a world of hurt. Keep your pet free from danger (and out of the ER) with our holiday pet safety tips.
Calmly approaching the weeks between Halloween and New Year’s is an effort of pure will. The long lines at every store, increased traffic, and freezing cold weather are all part of a recipe for utter frustration and fatigue. And you’re not alone.
Pets pick up on our heightened levels of stress, fear, and anxiety and often react in kind. Watch your pet’s behavior closely. Even if it’s not overly obvious, they could probably use a movie marathon cuddled next to their favorite person (that’s you), a nice long walk in nature, or extra playtime. If you notice that your pet seems restless or anxious and think they could benefit from less activities or fewer crowds, please bring them home and stick to their regular routine as much as possible.
To be sure, being in tune with your pet adds to your defense against holiday calamity. However, this doesn’t mean they’ll be free of the risks associated with accidental poisonings, injury, or illness.
Hosting a holiday party this year? While many pets embrace the sights and smells that come with strangers in the house, others tend to–well–freak out a bit. Even a well-trained, highly social animal has limits. Either way, make sure your pet has a place of refuge to return to when they’re tired and ready to rest. A quiet room with creature comforts is the perfect antidote.
Guests and Food
Please inform your guests of the following pet protocols:
- Keep the door closed. Express concerns about your pet possibly getting out and bolting down the street.
- Your pet should never be fed treats from the table. The result of rich, fatty meats and other indulgences can be pancreatitis, a painful condition that requires specialized veterinary care.
- Alcohol is always off limits, as it can damage the liver and kidneys in small amounts.
- Sugary treats sweetened with xylitol are highly toxic and, if eaten, may lead to a pet emergency.
- Chocolate is responsible for sometimes life-threatening conditions.
- Caffeine, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, and grapes/currants/raisins are also toxic.
- Ask that any medications be stored off the ground and out of sight. This includes purses, coat pockets, luggage, etc.
Other Holiday Pet Safety Rules
Just to be sure that all your bases are covered this holiday season, we hope the following holiday pet safety tips will guide your way:
- Presents (not just the food ones) wrapped up with ribbon can cause problems, often resulting in surgery when ingested.
- Low-lying string lights can be enticing to chew on, causing shock or becoming an entanglement hazard.
- Make sure your holiday tree is securely anchored.
- Discourage your pet from drinking from the tree stand, as the water can contain toxins.
- Imported snow globes can have antifreeze inside them, so be sure to keep them far out of a pet’s reach.
- Lit candles can pose fire hazards (not to mention singed whiskers or burnt tails).
- Many holiday plants can be poisonous. Do your research before placing potted plants on the floor.