The holidays are here friends, and that means it’s time to (socially-distance) visit with friends and family, cuddle up by the fire, and spend some quality time with our pets!
But, and this is always important, it’s also a time when we forget the heightened risk that may arise over the season. From food to decorations, the holidays can be hazardous – so we’ve put together a little list of things to remember. Our Holiday Pet Safety tips will help keep everyone healthy and happy all season long!
Holiday Pet Safety Tips
When it comes to holiday pet safety, these are some of the most important things to remember…
Sweets and treats are all around this time of year, as are sumptuous savory dishes – and unfortunately for our pets, often neither one is a good idea for sharing. We share a lot of food with our animals, but some things – especially things around the holidays – just are not it! Obviously things like chocolate are a well-known no-go, but other things can also cause issue. High fat foods are also an issue – pancreatitis can come on quickly with fatty meals.
Keep bowls of chocolate, candy, and other goodies out of harm’s way. Consider keeping appetizers and small plates off the living room coffee table and out of easy reach. If you are planning to have a holiday party or family over for Christmas dinner, remind guests not to share.
2. Bad to the Bone?
Cooked bones are another common food issue around the holidays. Feeding cooked bones to your pup is always a bad idea! Cooking changes the composition of a bone, making it brittle and therefore a major risk to your pet’s health.
Don’t throw them out though – use them to make BONE BROTH! Here’s the recipe.
Instead, go for raw bones which dogs can digest much more easily and safely. And they’re super nutritious as well! Our friends at Veterinarious have a very helpful post that outlines choosing the right ones for your pup – read it here.
3. Holiday Decor
The tree is dressed, the garland is up, the house is lit up, well, like a Christmas tree. Just be mindful of furious critters seeing those decorations as toys. If need be, get creative with your decorating to keep pets away from things that might seem fun. Encourage your dog to say away from the tree, and don’t leave them alone too long if you’re concerned they’ll get into things (and that includes presents under the tree)!
4. Poisonous Poinsettias?
On the topic of holiday decor, we have to cover poinsettias. While these have gained a bad reputation over the years, it might be helpful to note that they’re only mildly toxic to both dogs and cats. Eating some poinsettia is hardly ever serious or fatal, and usually just cause digestive upset. Obviously we still don’t want that, so keep poinsettias out of reach.
And remember that poinsettias aren’t the only problematic plants. Flowers and houseplants are popular hostess gifts or things to bring to friends and family to show a little holiday cheer, but stay away from these:
5. Crowded Spaces
While most of us may be in some form of lockdown, making visits a no-go, if you’re in an area where visits are not restricted, be sure you’re giving your animal a safe space to retreat to if they need quiet time away. Remember to let kids know about what makes your pet uncomfortable. And watch that front door with any comings-and-goings.
Whether you have a new puppy or kitten, or an older pet, the holidays present challenges we don’t see any other time of the year. That said, with a little due diligence we can all enjoy the holiday season without putting our pets at risk.
Happy holidays and seasons greetings friends! We wish you all the best!