8 Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe During the Holidays


Little furry friends are especially vulnerable during the holiday season.  With all the good food, decorations and company in the house it is easy for our pets to be put in danger.  Here are 8 things you can do to keep your pets safe:

  1. Just Say NO to Chocolate: Keep all the food out of reach of your pets.  Sweet treats that have chocolate are the most dangerous but did you know anything sweetened with Xylitol is harmful?  It is best to keep your pets away from the table when there is food unattended.  Make sure your garbage is secure.
  2. Safety over Beauty:  Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree how tempting it is to climb you.  The folks over at PetMD made this awesome suggestion for keeping your pets safe around your Christmas tree: “Place your Christmas tree in a corner, blocked off from your pet’s wanting eyes. If this doesn’t keep your dog or cat from attempting to jump onto the tree, you can place aluminum foil, a plastic drink bottle filled with knick knacks, or anything else that creates noise on the tree’s bottom limbs to warn you of an impending tree disaster.”  Read the complete article here.
  3. Keep These Plants Out of Reach: There are many holiday plants that are poisonous to dogs and cats.  Keep the holly, mistletoe, amaryllis, and poinsettia plants away from your animals.
  4. Leftovers are for Grandpa: Don’t feed your pets the leftovers.  Just like humans pets should not eat sweet, fatty or spicy foods.  Bones can be a choking hazard.  Some foods like onions, grapes and raisins can harm your pets too.  While you may think you are extending the holiday meal you could really be making your furry friend very sick.  Instead opt for fresh veggies like carrots or green beans or a scoop of pure pumpkin as an extra treat.
  5. A Little Peace and Quiet: Avoid putting your pets in situations they are not used to.  If kids make your cat nervous put her in a safe room where she is comfortable.  Don’t assume your dog is going to enjoy all the “strangers” in his home.  All the noise and chaos can make the best of pets misbehave and hurt a human.
  6. Stranger Danger: Make sure you dog is secure when delivery folks are coming to and from your home this holiday season.  Don’t put your dog in a situation where she thinks she is defending your home from the UPS driver.  Keep her safely in the house or in a secure fenced area.  Our dog is crate trained so that is a great place for her to be since it is her quite space.
  7. Pets DON’T Make Great Gifts: Your niece may have been asking for a bunny for years but don’t give her the gift of an animal without having a serious heart to heart with her parents.  Pets are big decisions.  They require daily care and attention.  It should be well thought out decision to add a family member to any household.
  8. You Must Be Human to Have a Cocktail: Watch the cocktails and make sure only the adults have access to them.  Your pet will be attracted to a sweet drink make sure they don’t have the opportunity to ingest anything alcoholic.

Cheers to all the fur babies who fill our lives with joy and complete our families.  Our model Lucy is a rescue.  Three years ago this month (just after Christmas day) I saw her picture in the paper. The Ruth’s Memorial Animal Shelter had her in as the dog of the week.  After finally convincing my husband we needed to go and “meet” her she came home for an over night visit.  The look on my son’s face when he saw her is forever in my mind and heart.  He barely breathed as he ask “Is she ours?”  Yes, it was love at first sight.  Besides shedding and not being able to toilet train her she is a perfect doggie and very much completes are family.

In doing my research for this article I found a really great list from the ASPCA – click here if you would additional tips. 

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