Keeping Holidays Safe

The holidays are just around the corner. Such a joyous time of year can quickly turn tragic if owners are not aware of the dangers to their pets that come along with the holiday season. Below is a list of the most common holiday dangers in your home to your dog or cat. Thankfully with a little bit of planning and prevention, they can be avoided and the holidays can be fun for all.

  1. Decorations. Many decorations, such as tinsel, ornaments, and ribbons, are not necessarily toxic but have a certain appeal to animals, especially our feline friends. Something stringy and shiny looks like the perfect toy in a cat’s eyes and if swallowed can cause an intestinal obstruction or choking. Simple solutions include keeping your pets gated off from areas with decorations, or chosing other decorations that are less appealing to pets.
  2. Foods. Around the holidays there tends to be an excess of treats such as chocolate (which is poisonous to dogs and cats) and other fattening foods. Even fattening foods that are not necessarily toxic to an animal can cause major problems, such as pancreatitis, if a large amount is consumed. Bones can cause intestinal obstructions or choking, and certain nuts (particularly the macadamia nut) are poisonous to pets. Simple solutions include keeping holiday treats out of your pet’s reach and sticking to a normal feeding regimen.
  3. Plants. Holly, Mistletoe, and Poinsettias are all toxic to your pets. Eating pine needles can cause mouth and stomach sensitivities in your cat or dog. Simple solutions include keeping your pets gated off from the tree, keeping smaller plants out of reach of your pets, or simply not decorating with these plants.
  4. Noise and Guests. Some animals are more sensitive than others to loud noises (especially around New Year’s), guests, and interruptions in schedules. Every year dogs are reported to have run away from home around the holidays due to loud noises scaring them, or guests unfamiliar with having pets in the home leaving doors open. Simple solutions include educating guests on how to behave around pets (including what is and is not acceptable to feed them), keeping pets in a closed off area of the house, or boarding pets over the holidays. Try sticking as closely to their normal schedule as possible to avoid anxiety.
  5. Electrical Cords. Believe it or not, there are plenty of animals that wouldn’t hesitate to chew on the electrical cord plugging in the lights to your tree or candles in the windows. Pets can get severe electrical burns in their mouths from this activity. Electrical shock can also cause death. Simple solutions include using battery operated lights and/or keeping pets away from cords.

As always, feel free to give our office a call anytime. There is no such thing as a dumb question! We are always happen to help out however we can.

Have a happy and safe holiday season, everyone!

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