The holidays are filled with fun, but they can also be a time of temptation, anxiety, and even danger for our beloved pets. Wanting to include our pets in the seasonal festivities is understandable, but a pet emergency is no way to spread good cheer. Planning and preparing for holiday pet safety is a must to ensure a happy, healthy season for your furry family member.

Feast Foibles

One of the chief concerns around our holiday meals is the need to keep pets away from the food. Making sure your pet doesn’t have access to people food, as well as resisting the urge to slip them a bite here and there, reduces the risk of poisoning, GI distress/blockage, and pancreatitis (a dangerous inflammatory condition of the pancreas).

Foods that should be avoided include:

  • Alcohol
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener used in sugar-free gum, candies, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Chocolate
  • Onions/garlic
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Macadamia nuts

Be on the lookout for food-related hazards, such as:

  • Uncovered trash bins and compost
  • Unattended leftovers
  • Poultry bones or other bones
  • Fatty poultry skin, gravy, or other high caloric sauces
  • Meat string and wrappers

Decor Dilemmas

Christmas trees, wrapped gifts, string lights, and other decorative items are unfamiliar to pets and can arouse their curiosity. Holiday pet safety means ensuring the following items stay out of your pet’s reach:

  • Tinsel and ribbon – can cause dangerous GI obstruction if ingested
  • Strings of electric lights – pose a risk of entanglement or electric shock if chewed
  • Christmas tree water – may contain toxic fire retardants, pesticides, and preservatives
  • Pine needles – can be toxic if consumed in large amounts
  • Breakable ornaments – shards can cause injury to noses, paws, and mouths if broken
  • Holiday plants – lilies, holly, mistletoe and other common holiday plants can be toxic

Planning for Holiday Pet Safety

Although gathering with family and friends is an important part of the holidays, our pets don’t always appreciate a house full of people. Make sure your companion has a quiet, safe place to retreat from the noise or consider daycare or boarding if you expect anxiety levels to be high.

Also, in case they slip out an open door during the commotion, make sure your pet is always wearing a collar with ID tags and that they’ve been microchipped.

Your friends at The Whole Pet Vet hope you have a wonderful holiday season! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding holiday pet safety.