Keeping Pets Safe During the Holidays

Holidays are a time when families and friends come together to celebrate. For many people, celebrations include our pets, so we need to make sure we are keeping their well-being in the forefront of our minds. Here are a few key things to think through or plan around:

  1. Keep regular eating and exercise habits as close to normal as possible.
  2. Tips for each upcoming Holiday:
    1. Halloween:
      1. Dogs do not need candy. Take precautions to keep all candy out of your pets reach especially chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol.  
      2. If taking your dog out to Trick or Treat, make sure to have reflective gear on yourself and the dog, so that vehicles can see you both.
    2. Thanksgiving:
      1. We all associate indulgently rich foods during this holiday ranging from turkey to pies. Our dogs would love to get their paws on many of these treats, but they really do not need to be eating them at all. There are many foods that dogs should not ingest that would be common during this holiday.   
      2. Do not leave food unattended and/or readily available to your dogs/cats.
      3. Keep garbage can lids on and secure.  
      4. Make sure to watch for bones if you do give your dog any cooked turkey, etc.
    3. Christmas:
      1. Christmas trees are a dream come true for cats! Make sure to securely anchor your tree so that it doesn’t tip and fall.
      2. Keep holiday plants up and away from pets. Some plants can cause gastrointestinal upset when ingested.  
      3. Decorations
        1. Tinsel – Cats love anything that is long, shiny, and crinkly. It might seem like a great toy, but it is a danger if they ingest any. It can cause blockages in their digestive tract leading to the possibility of surgery.
        2. Wires – A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock if chewed. Make sure to keep these up and out of the reach of pets and children.
        3. Ornaments – Keep glass and/or special ornaments up and away from potential damage that is lower on the tree. Cats like to bat at any dangling object and dogs can knock things down with the tails.   
  3. If you are planning to entertain guests for any holiday:
    1. Make sure your pets have a quiet, safe place to hide if needed.
      1. A specific room or location in the house.
    2. Let your guests know any house rules you have in regards to your pets.
      1. For example – no people food as treats.

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