Holiday Pet Tips

Categories: Pet Behavior Advice

As we gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays, the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA hopes that the following tips will help you and your pet have a healthy, happy and enjoyable holiday season and a wonderful new year.

Tips for a Holiday Food Feast

  • Make your pet’s holiday extra yummy by giving them specialty pet treats in moderation — these days, you’ll find no shortage of goodies available to please every pet’s palate! Stop by The Shelter Shop and check out our selection of treats.
  • You may love to treat your pets to holiday leftovers, but any change in diet may cause indigestion! Older animals have more delicate digestive systems and more specific nutritional requirements.
  • Bones can tear up or obstruct your pet’s digestive system. Cooked turkey bones can easily splinter.
  • If your pet is used to eating leftovers, feed them without rich holiday sauces or spices. Fresh vegetables are always appropriate snacks.
  • Candy and sugar may also give your pet intestinal problems. Depending on the dose ingested, chocolate can be poisonous.
  • Crowds and holiday festivities may frighten some animals. If your pet does not like loud noise and large groups of people, set aside a safe and quiet place as a retreat. Cats are creatures of habit. Disruptions in the home during the holidays (such as rearranging the furniture) could cause your feline to stop using the litter box.

Safe Holiday Decorations

  • Secure your tree to the wall or ceiling, away from furniture that can serve as a springboard for your pet. Place it near an outlet so you don’t have to run electrical cords long distances.
  • Chewing on cords may cause serious injury or burns. Secure electrical cords by positioning them higher than you pet can reach or hiding them with special covers.
  • Try to keep ornaments high on the tree, away from curious pets. Replace tinsel and garland, which may be dangerous if eaten by your cat or dog, with velvet bows or ribbons.
  • Sweep up the pine needles that drop on the floor. Keep the tree watered, and turn the lights on only when you are at home. Discourage your pet from drinking the tree water.
  • Choose holiday floral arrangements with your pet in mind. Common Yuletide plants such as poinsettias, mistletoe, ivy, and holly berries can be poisonous to cats and dogs. Lilies are highly toxic, and often fatal, to cats. Safe alternatives can include artificial flowers made from silk or plastic.
  • Keep candles out of your pet’s reach to prevent fire hazards and burns. Use flameless candles as an alternative.

Cold Weather Safety Tips

If you’re traveling over the hill and through the woods to your grandmother’s house–or anywhere else that wintry weather frequents – keep in mind the following cold weather tips:

  • Provide a warm place for pets to sleep.
  • More dogs are lost during winter than any other season; don’t let your dog off its leash during a snowstorm. Always have current identification on your pet.
  • Antifreeze is a lethal poison for cats and dogs so make sure to clean up any spills and wipe off any residue that may be on your pet.
  • You may want to keep your dog’s coat longer in the cooler months or get your pet a sweater for added warmth.

The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA strongly encourages you not to purchase pets as gifts. Instead, purchase a gift certificate at The Shelter Shop to cover the cost of a shelter animal adoption. This will help ensure a positive match between person and pet and reduce the number of pets that are returned to us.

Happy Holidays from the staff and animals at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA!