Written by 6:23 pm Health & Care

Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

Keep your pets safe and sound this holiday season. Here are a few helpful tips for keeping your pet…
Naughty dachshund dog in a sweater and a red cap played too much and filled up artificial Christmas tree decorated with garland.

Holidays can be a very exciting time for families. From the first snowflake to the last candy cane, there’s a lot to take in during this special time of year. For those with four-legged friends at home, however, preparing your pet for all the holiday festivities might require more work than you think. In fact, some celebrations can be downright dangerous for pets! Here are five important things to keep in mind as you get ready for the holidays.

Naughty dachshund dog in a sweater and a red cap played too much and filled up artificial Christmas tree decorated with garland. Funny concept of Santa Claus hiding gifts

1. Holidays Foods Hazard-

It is important to be aware of the types of foods that are poisonous to pets and avoid feeding them these foods during the holidays. Some of the most common holiday foods that can be harmful to pets include:

Chocolate: Chocolate contains a compound called Theobromine which is toxic to dogs and can cause seizures, heart problems, and death.

-Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic contain toxins that can damage red blood cells in dogs and cats, leading to anemia.

Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in many candies and baked goods. It is toxic to dogs and can cause liver failure.

Macadamia nuts: Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, weakness, and tremors.

Alcohol: Alcohol is toxic to both dogs and cats and can cause serious health problems, including death.

-Crowded houses tend to provide more smells outside of the ordinary for dogs, which may encourage them to eat some things they normally would not dare even approach! Make sure that all foods are put away in places where your pet cannot reach them.

-If you are having a large holiday meal, do not place the food right in front of the dog’s nose or your pets may become jealous and jump up to get some or try to steal it.

-You should also be extra careful when cooking around any pets who love to put their noses in everything that smells! Cracked eggs can cause grave problems if they are swallowed, so be very mindful of this during the Holiday season.

2. Holidays Decorations Hazards:

Christmas Tree and Ornament:

– If you use live trees, make sure their water trays are kept full—dryness is fatal to cats and dogs as well as people! Be sure that the tree stand is sturdy and heavy enough to keep it from toppling if your dog or cat jumps up at it.

-Cats like to rub against Christmas trees and decorations, many of which can cause injury such as cuts and scrapes when the cat swipes at them.

-Plastic ornaments on Christmas trees can be chewed right off the tree and ingested by pets. If your pet ingests a plastic ornament, take him to the veterinarian immediately.

-Avoid using glass ornaments around pets who might run into them and break their teeth upon impact, especially if they are chasing a toy.

Tinsel, Ribbons and Garland 

-Tinsel is a hazard for both cats and dogs as it can be ingested and cause intestinal blockages.

-Ribbons and garlands can be swallowed by pets and can also cause intestinal blockages.

-Ribbons are hazardous to pets when they get wrapped around the pet’s neck and could potentially strangle them.

-Garland can be very dangerous for dogs who love to chew on plants, especially if the garland contains berries or other plant matter that is toxic.

-If your pet ingests any of these items, take him to the veterinarian immediately.

Candles and Potpourris

-If you have real candles in your holiday display, use extreme caution and keep them away from pets and children. Be sure that there is no way that a pet or child could knock over a burning candle onto themselves or another person or pet nearby.

-Potpourri is not safe for pets either as it can cause drooling, vomiting and difficulty breathing.

-Avoid holiday displays that contain large amounts of candles or potpourri to prevent any unfortunate accidents from happening to your pet.

Lights and Electrical Wires

-Be aware that lamps and electrical cords can look like toys or food and encourage your pet to jump and play with them.

-String lights and other electrical parts should be kept out of the pet’s reach as much as possible, as electrical cords can pose a serious danger to pets who chew them.

3. Holiday Plants Hazard

-Many holiday plants, such as holly and mistletoe, are poisonous to both cats and dogs.

-Mistletoe can cause stomach upset, low blood pressure, seizures and even death.

-Holly berries can cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain in pets.

-If your pet ingests any of these plants, take him to the veterinarian immediately.

4. Holiday Presents and Toys Hazard:

-Holiday toys can be filled with stuffing that can cause intestinal blockages in pets.

-Be sure to read clothing labels so you know if they are safe for your pet.

-Wrap breakable gifts in heavy paper or place them high up where your pet cannot get to them, as this could cause injury.

-Keep all holiday festivities away from any animals who might become frightened by the noise or activity level of the holiday season. You do not want to startle him into running through the streets, just when everyone is arriving home after a long day at work and school.

5. People

-There will be a lot of people visiting throughout the holiday season and this could cause stress for any pets who are not used to such an event.

-Be wary about unfamiliar or overly affectionate visitors approaching your pet as he might become frightened and lash out at them.

-If you have other animals in the home, keep them separate until you know they can all get along well. This can prevent any fights from happening between your pets over their food, toys or space.

-Kids should be taught not to tease or pick up their pets, especially if they do not know how to properly interact with animals.

-Purses and shopping bags should also be kept out of reach from pets as they might be tempted to chew on them.

Holidays safety tips for your pet

-Keep all holiday plants and decorations out of reach from your pet.

-Be aware of what holiday items could be hazardous to your pet and take steps to prevent them from getting hurt.

-Know how to properly interact with your pet, especially if there are lots of people visiting during the holidays.

-Make sure all presents and toys are safe for pets before allowing them to play with them.

-If your pet seems stressed or upset, try to calm him down by providing a safe space for him to hide in or playing gentle music.

I hope this post was informative and helped some people who might be concerned about their pets during the holiday season! I am a crazy animal lover myself and always worry when my animals are around anything that could harm them. So if you’re like me be sure to keep an extra eye on your little guys! 

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