It’s that time of year again – the holidays are approaching, which means food, festivities, and fun. And while you probably aren’t having huge gatherings with friends and family, there are still plenty of things to keep in mind to make sure your pets stay safe during the holiday season.
It’s likely that you’ll be celebrating the holidays with food, but remember that not all of what we eat is good for our furry friends. Onions and garlic are toxic to pets, so make sure you keep ingredients out of reach when cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Celebrating with a glass of wine? Alcohol is also hazardous to cats and dogs, so don’t leave your glass unattended. Even cooked turkey bones can be a serious danger, as they can easily splinter in an animal’s digestive tract. If you want your pet to indulge with you for the holidays, only purchase treats and chews made specifically for them.
Animals and Christmas trees can coexist as long as you take precautions. Pine needles are mildly toxic to pets and can potentially puncture the intestines, so if you catch your cat or dog trying to eat them, move the tree to a room you can close off or stick to an artificial tree. If you have a live tree, the tree water can contain preservatives that can upset your pet’s stomach, so cover your tree stand to prevent pets from having access to the water. If your cat is climbing your tree, make sure it’s securely anchored so it won’t tip over.
Keep the breakable ornaments up high on the tree where curious pets can’t reach. The same is true for Christmas lights, which are an electrocution risk if bitten. Always unplug Christmas lights when you’re not actively supervising your pet. Tinsel is another potentially dangerous decoration, as it can be tempting for cats to play with but can cause intestinal blockages if swallowed. Opt for artificial holly and mistletoe, since the real thing can cause vomiting. And if you have a menorah, don’t leave a lit flame unattended, or opt for flameless candles to be extra safe.
Wrapping paper, string, and ribbon are tempting for pets to play with, but can be dangerous if swallowed. Use caution when keeping wrapped presents under the tree, or better yet, keep them out of reach until it’s time to open them.
Have a fun – and safe – holiday season!