Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays

The holiday season is here. As you get ready to decorate, host holiday parties, or wrap gifts, it’s important to keep your pet in mind. Your pet’s eating and exercise habits should be kept as close to their normal routine as possible, and it’s important that you remember the holidays can be a stressful, and even dangerous time for your furry friend.

To make the holidays just as enjoyable for them as they are for you, follow these pet safety tips.

Oh, Holiday Tree

The holiday tree is often the focal point of holiday decorating, and it can be just as appealing to your pet, especially if you own a cat. Cats see a tree, and thoughts of pouncing on branches and swatting at lights fill their mind. Securely anchor the tree so you don’t experience an incident where it comes crashing down upon your pet.

You might also want to put the tree in a corner, so it can’t tip into a window and might be less of a distraction to your furry friends. If you have a real tree, keep pets away from the tree water and pine needles. Pine needles can cause stomach irritation, and stagnant water is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.

When it comes to lights, avoid lighting the tree’s lowermost branches. Your pet could get tangled in the wire or burn himself on the light bulb. And both dogs and cats could suffer from shock if they bite through the wire. It’s best to simply remove the temptation altogether.

Don’t Meet Under the Mistletoe

Kissing beneath mistletoe might be a fun and romantic holiday tradition, but mistletoe and holly are both extremely dangerous for pets. When ingested, your furry friend could suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and even cardiovascular problems.

If you have a cat, be sure to also avoid lilies. They can cause kidney failure in your feline friend if they’re ingested. If your heart is set on these decorations, buy artificial ones to keep your house festive and your pets safe.

Tinsel Town

Tinsel can make a tree sparkle and shine as it catches the light. But as beautiful as it is, it’s extremely dangerous for your pets. If ingested, it could block their intestines, which can be fatal without immediate surgery. Either skip it all together, or only hang it where you know your pets can never reach it.

Candle’s Flame

Never leave candles unattended. Just a few minutes alone with a candle, and your pet could cause serious harm to himself or your house. Pets are drawn to new and exciting things, and the dancing flame from a candle is sure to entice. If you leave the room, put the candle out to ensure your pet doesn’t burn himself or cause a fire by knocking it over.

Holiday Spirits

It’s normal for holiday parties to include adult holiday beverages, but you should be extra careful if there are pets in the house. Never leave an unattended alcoholic beverage within reach of your pet. If your pet gets the desire to sample the delicious cocktail, it could cause him to become ill or even slip into a coma. Don’t risk it; drink responsibly.

Stocking Stuffers

Are you planning to give your furry friends a holiday gift this year? It’s a grand idea and is sure to make their Holiday jolly, but it’s important to be extra careful when choosing new treats or toys. Select chew toys that will hold up over time, such as Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy treats.

While long dangling things are a cat’s dream come true, ribbon and yarn are extremely dangerous choices. These parts can get stuck in the intestines and force your cat into emergency surgery. Instead, gift your kitty a new ball that’s too big to swallow. If you really want to make the holiday special for your feline, choose a stuffed catnip toy or something interactive.

And a Happy New Year

As you ring in the new year, please remember that the sound of fireworks could frighten your pet and cause them great distress. Even noisy New Year’s Eve poppers could cause damage to sensitive ears. Make sure your pets are in a secure, safe, and relaxing environment that they can’t escape from should they get frightened.

If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve bash, be very careful how you celebrate the ball drop or midnight countdown. Confetti can become lodged in a cat’s intestines and result in a need for surgery.

During this holiday season, it’s important to remember that the constant excitement, new decorations, and unfamiliar scents could cause your pets to explore things they normally don’t or become stressed and sick.

Keep a close eye on your pets, and use these holiday tips to ensure you and your furry friend have a very merry and safe holiday season.

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