Practicing holiday pet safety can prevent a pet emergency

The last thing any pet owner wants for their best friend is an accidental injury or sudden illness, but to face a dire situation during the holidays is extra frightening and stressful.

Whether it’s toxic foods, chemical poisoning, entanglement, electrical shock, or choking, preventing a pet emergency is crucial. Fortunately, with our holiday pet safety tips, you can relax and enjoy the festivities knowing your pet is protected!

Stay Away from Hazards

This time of the year, it’s not uncommon for pets to face certain hazards from new items that are brought into the home.

Gifts, people food, holiday decor, and more can all unwittingly place a pet in harm’s way. Let’s take a closer look at certain risks:

  • Greens – Have you ever wondered why some pet owners only decorate with artificial greenery? Pine needles from Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands can cause injuries to delicate paw pads (or worse, if eaten). The tree stand can also harbor dangerous pesticides, fertilizers, and fire retardants. To safeguard against climbing pets, be sure to brace your tree against the wall or ceiling. Lastly, mistletoe, holly, and poinsettia are all considered toxic to pets.
  • Baubles – If glass ornaments happen to get knocked off the tree, be sure to pick them up right away. Glass shards can cause painful cuts to the feet; if ingested, terrible lacerations can occur. Snow globes are a mainstay of the holidays, but many still contain ethylene glycol (i.e., antifreeze). Highly toxic to pets, these decorations should only be displayed in places your pet can’t access.  
  • Lights – Low-hanging strings of lights can present a real threat to holiday pet safety. Never allow your pet to play with cords, as this can lead to shock or entanglement. Toys or other items that require batteries should never be left on the floor or outdoor walkways. Live flame candles can also lead to fire risks. Burnt whiskers are never fun!
  • Bows – Everyone loves a pretty gift, but the decorative ribbon and string can cause serious damage to your pet’s GI tract if eaten. Likewise, tinsel is a no-go for all pets.
  • Table food – Extra precautions are necessary when it comes to alcohol, chocolate, xylitol, garlic, grapes/raisins, and more. Bones can splinter and lead to choking. To avoid an emergency during the holiday dinner, fix your pet a special plate with delicious, healthy options like apples, steamed green beans or sweet potatoes, and cooked white meat. Also ask your guests not to feed your pet any snacks from the table.
  • Anxiety – Hosting this year? Be sure your pet is up for the extra company. If not, encourage them to hang out in a quiet room away from all the action and noise. Microchips come in handy this time of year when pet anxiety is high and people are coming and going more frequently in the house. Overnight guests should always have a safe place to store medications.

Holiday Pet Safety

Our boarding facility is a great alternative for many pets and their owners during the holiday season. You can have peace of mind knowing your pet is safe and comfortable away from any potential hazards.

Lastly, another important strategy for holiday pet safety is to keep your pet active and engaged. A tired pet is a safe pet during the holidays. Be sure to stick to their daily routine and provide extra opportunities for exercise and play time.
If you have additional questions about holiday pet safety, please contact our team. From all of us at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center, we wish you and your pet a happy holiday season!