Tinsel and Trees and Tidings, Oh My! Holiday Pet Safety
Along with spending time with family and friends, we are sure you’re including your best fur pal in some of the festivities. After all, tis the season to enjoy all the wonder and gratitude that the winter holidays can bring!
But holiday time can also pose risks for our pets. Planning and awareness are key to ensuring a happy, healthy holiday season with pets. With that in mind, Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital shares our best practices when in comes to holiday pet safety.
Preventing (Fancy) Feast Temptations
One of the main concerns around our holiday meals is keeping our pets away from the food. Making sure your pet doesn’t have access to people food and avoiding giving them bits from the table can help to avoid problems such as poisoning, GI upset, and pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation of the pancreas.
Some holiday foods for pets to avoid include:
- Xylitol (an artificial sweetener used in peanut butter, gum, and candy)
- Grapes and raisins
- Garlic and onions
- Macadamia nuts
- Yeasted bread dough
It’s also important to help your pet avoid food related hazards such as
- Garbage bins
- Unattended leftovers
- Poultry bones or other bones
- Fatty table scraps, including poultry skin and gravy
- Meat string, food wrappers and aluminum foil
Avoiding Decor Disasters
All the lovely decorations of the season – from Christmas trees, to tinsel, to string lights – can be beautiful, and can also arouse your pet’s natural curiosity. Planning for holiday pet safety means keeping these things out of your pet’s reach.
- Christmas tree water – can cause GI upset if consumed, especially if chemicals are present
- Tinsel and ribbon – can cause GI blockage requiring surgery if ingested
- String lights – pose a risk of entanglement or electric shock if chewed
- Candles – can burn whiskers or tails
- Holiday plants – mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and other holiday plants can be toxic
- Glass or breakable ornaments – shards can pose injury to paws, noses, and mouths
Holiday Pet Safety
Holiday pet safety means preparation, awareness, and attentiveness. Although gathering with friends is an important part of the holidays, our pets don’t always love a house full of strangers. We suggest leaving them safely at home if you’re attending holiday parties. Give them a calm, quiet room to escape festivities in your home if you’re entertaining, or consider boarding them if anxiety is too high. And make sure your pet is microchipped and has a collar and tags in case they slip out the door during all the comings and goings.