Holiday Safety for Pets

Ah, the holidays! Lots of good food, good company, and decorations throughout the home! In the midst of all of this excitement, let’s remember to keep our pets safe and snug so that they can enjoy this time with us!

A few tips on keeping pets safe during the holidays:

Food: It’s tempting to share our treats with our furry family members, but use caution!

Chocolate contains theobromine that may cause a rapid or irregular heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, or seizures. Baking chocolate contains higher levels of theobromine than does milk chocolate, but to be on the safe side keep all chocolate out of reach of your pet.

Rich, tasty holiday treats often contain high amounts of fat, which can cause the pancreas to work overtime and result in pancreatitis. Avoid giving fatty skin, ham and bacon, or other rich foods to pets.

Turkey bones may easily splinter and damage the esophagus, stomach, or intestine causing ulceration or perforation. Watch out when you discard the turkey bones- although you may not give your dog these bones, they smell delicious and a sneaky pup may find a way to snag a bone in secret! Make sure the carcass is safely discarded in a closed container away from temptation. Also carefully discard any strings or pop-up thermometers- soaked with the juices from your roast, these can be tempting but may result in emergency surgery to remove them!

Decorations: Pretty and festive, but be sure to avoid accidents.

Candles may smell enticing and are a source of curiosity, but they can easily be knocked over and burn your pet or cause a fire hazard. Don’t leave burning candles unattended, and keep them out of reach of curious noses.

Some holiday plants can pose hazards to pets, so make sure they are out of reach. Poinsettias may cause gastrointestinal upset, mistletoe can cause heart and stomach problems and may be fatal to pets, and amaryllis may cause vomiting or diarrhea. Additives in water for Christmas trees, designed to keep the tree fresh, may be toxic to pets. And be sure any electrical cords are inaccessible for chewing and mouthing!

Finally, with an influx of visitors, shy pets may become very stressed. Make sure they have a quiet area to retreat from the hustle and bustle. Also watch the door with the frequent comings and goings of visitors. Don’t let your beloved pets escape! Make sure they have current identification tags, and microchipping is a good idea.

May your holidays be merry, happy, and safe!