A Time of Cheer (and Fear): Protect Your Pet With our Holiday Pet Safety Guide

It’s easy to get carried away amidst the chaos of the holiday season. The list of things to do, see, taste, and decorate is endless, and it’s easy to abandon routine during the busiest time of year. However, your pet thrives on predictability, so ask yourself: where does he or she fit in during all the holiday hubbub?

Whether you’re the guardian of a dog, cat, ferret, reptile, pocket pet, or bird, we’d like to share some important holiday pet safety tips to avoid any emergency situations.

Let the festivities begin!

Dangerous Holiday Decorations

It wouldn’t be the holidays without all the lights, snow globes, and garlands. Your pet might have a stocking hanging from the mantel, just waiting to be filled with yummy treats and fun toys. However, before you get too carried away with household decor, consider the following:

  • Keep all decorations out of your pet’s reach
  • Eliminate electric cords, which your pet could chew on or get tangled in
  • Never tempt your pet with decorative food in garlands or wreaths
  • No tinsel – when ingested, it can be very dangerous to your pet’s GI tract
  • Keep candles or hot scented oil out of reach on a high counter top or table

Remember, we’re always here if your pet requires emergency care. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions about wellness or behavior or if your pet displays any dangerous symptoms.  

The Tree

If you can’t resist having a live tree this year, keep your pet from getting too close since pine needles and oil can cause major stomach upset. Beware, your pet may also try to sneak a drink of water from the base. The tree can leak dangerous chemicals or pesticides into the water, so be sure to cover it with a tightly drawn tree skirt. Lastly, do what you can to anchor your tree in case Fluffy or Fido tries to climb it. Having a tree full of delicate, breakable ornaments fall on your pet can put a damper on the holiday spirit!

Plants and Holiday Pet Safety

Lots of beautiful, lush greenery can add a great deal to the holiday ambiance of your home. Unfortunately, much of it is toxic to your pet. Please review this comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets. In the meantime, be sure to avoid the following:

  • Mistletoe
  • Holly
  • Poinsettias
  • Lilies
  • Christmas cacti
  • Cedar
  • Balsam
  • Pine

General Safety

Our holiday pet safety guide would not be complete without these gentle reminders:

  • If you’re hosting a party, make sure your pet is happy, safe, and comfortable around your guests
  • Avoid dangerous people foods and table scraps
  • Allow your pet to retreat from the noise and strangers when necessary
  • Make sure your pet’s microchip and ID tags are current

Please let us know if you have any questions about holiday pet safety. From the friendly staff at Ten West Bird and Animal Hospital, we wish you and your pet the very best holiday season!