Deck the Halls: Holiday Pet Safety
‘Tis the season of tinsel, trees, and turkey – oh my! – and time to spend with family and friends, as well. With a full 70% of pet owners considering their pets as family of course we know that some of the holiday festivities will include our pets.
Although we love to have our furry family help us celebrate the winter holidays, there are some hazards to be aware of when it comes to holiday pet safety. And so without further ado, Redwood Veterinary Hospital in Vallejo, CA gives you our best tips and tricks for avoiding a holiday pet emergency.
The holidays include many delicious and wonderful traditional foods that make our mouths water. You can bet that your pets are drooling too, but some of these foods that are so delicious for us, pose special hazards to our pets.
Making sure your pet doesn’t have access to high fat and toxic foods can go a long way to preventing GI upset, a foreign body obstruction, and pancreatitis, a serious and painful inflammation of the pancreas, or worse.
Some holiday foods for pets to avoid include:
- Yeasted bread dough
- Macadamia nuts
- Garlic, onion, and chives
- Raisins and grapes
- Xylitol (a common sugar substitute in gum, candy, and peanut butter)
In addition to foods, it’s important to help pets avoid the following food related hazards:
- Natural bones of any type (poultry, pork, beef, etc.)
- Garbage and compost
- Unattended leftovers
- Fatty foods such as poultry skin and gravy
- Food and candy wrappers and used aluminum foil
- Marijuana, especially edibles
In addition to food, there are plenty of other trappings of the season that we need to be aware of for good holiday pet safety. Christmas trees, string lights, and candles are all a beautiful part of holiday traditions, but arouse your pet’s natural curiosity and may pose a safety risk to them.
Christmas tree water – especially if treated with chemicals
Glass and breakable ornaments – can cut paws, mouths, and noses
String lights – can cause electric shock or entanglement
Candles – can burn whiskers or tails if left unattended
Holiday plants – holly, poinsettias and mistletoe are all toxic to pets
Tinsel and ribbon – can pose a risk of GI obstruction and may require surgery if ingested
Holiday Pet Safety
Holiday pet safety means knowledge, awareness and attentiveness. In addition to the above, the holidays often mean gathering with friends and family. Many pets don’t love a crowd, and a disruption to their normal quiet routine can cause stress and anxiety – resulting in undesirable behaviors.
When friends come to call, give your pet a quiet, safe room in your home to escape to. Make sure this space is comfortable for them and has their bed, food, water, and toys. And check on them frequently, praising them for good behavior. Watch the ins and outs to make sure they can’t scoot out the door as guests arrive and leave, and ensure they are wearing their collar and tags, and have a registered microchip in case they get lost.
If you go out, leave your pet at home instead of bringing them to a strange gathering. Consider boarding them if this is not possible and to avoid anxiety.
Your friends at Redwood Veterinary Hospital in Vallejo, CA hope you have a safe and fun holiday season, filled with your family and friends. If you have questions or concerns about these tips, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.