Let’s face it, most pets are treasured members of the family. I know our three dogs sure are! That’s why it’s so important to be mindful of their safety during the holiday season. Consider the following information when decorating and entertaining to keep your pets safe during the holidays. These tips can really make the difference between a joyous occasion and a tragic one.
Say no to holly and mistletoe
Both holly and mistletoe have the potential of making your pets gravely ill if ingested. Eating the plants can cause everything from nausea to cardiovascular issues. If it just isn’t Christmas without them, choose the artificial variety as a suitable replacement. Amaryllis plants and poinsettias should also be kept somewhere where pets cannot reach them.
If you have a cat, tinsel is another holiday decoration you might want to stay away from. Cats love to bat around anything that glitters, and if they knock some down, chances are they will try to eat it. Swallowing even a small piece of tinsel can obstruct their airway, resulting in huge vet bills.
Secure your Christmas tree
Securing your Christmas tree means that it can’t accidently tip over and injure your fur babies. It also prevents the tree water from spilling. Stagnant water is extremely bacteria-laden and can cause illness, should your cat or dog decide to drink it.
Consider food dangers
It’s best to keep your pets away from the table, especially when entertaining. Avoid feeding them chocolate, spicy or fatty foods and bones. Since holiday gatherings often involve buffets or tables of treats and appetizers, it’s important to ensure your pets don’t get into anything that may be dangerous to their systems. Also be sure to remind your kids not to leave holiday treats anywhere pets can get into them. Potentially harmful foods for dogs include grapes, raisins, chocolate, nuts, raw dough, garlic, onions, avocado and xylitol (an artificial sweetener used in candy, gum and baked goods.) Alcoholic beverages are also a big no-no. Even small amounts of alcohol can bring about major health issues.
Don’t leave candles unattended
Never leave candles unattended, under ANY circumstances. Pets are curious by nature. That being said, there’s always the unfortunate chance they may burn themselves or knock one over and start a blaze.
Give your pet a safe place to hang out during celebrations
Big family gatherings can be very overwhelming for pets, causing them to become stressed and possibly act out or injure themselves. Many animals are terrified of loud noises. Things like fireworks or New Year’s Eve horns and other noise makers may cause a consider amount of stress to your animals. Consider securing your pets in a quiet place in your home. This way, they won’t get too stressed or run off during the festivities.
These are five simple tips to keep your pets safe during the holidays. As you can see, it’s basically just a matter of common sense. By adhering to this advice, you’re helping to ensure that every furry member of the family stays healthy this holiday season.
Wishing you and your entire family happy and healthy holidays!
About Kathy Sima
Kathy is a blogger and freelance writer and mom of two teens who gave up her career as a financial advisor when her son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When it comes to parenting, Kathy truly believes there is strength in numbers and knows that sharing stories and strategies with other parents has helped keep her sane (so far!)