Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:

O Christmas Tree Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.

Tinsel-less Town
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.

No Feasting for the Furries
By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.

Toy Joy
Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.
§  Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
§  Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.

Forget the Mistletoe & Holly
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested.
Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
Leave the Leftovers 
Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills.

That Holiday Glow
Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!

Wired Up 
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth.

House Rules
If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.

Put the Meds Away 
Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

Careful with Cocktails
If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

A Room of Their Own 
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.

New Year’s Noise
As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.



  1. I feel like the holidays can be a full of hospital trips, if you are not careful with the product you leave around the house for your pet to get into. The animal clinics are probably full during the holidays because animals are so curious with the new things put out for the month. I think my friend learned the hard way to not leave certain plants out because they will end up getting eaten or destroyed by pets. You just have to teach your pets to not touch the stuff, just like little children.


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  3. These are some really good tips for keeping your pet safe this holiday season! I have a large dog and I am always worried about leaving here with the tree because of the lights and ornaments. I will have to keep these tips in mind this holiday season! Thanks for sharing this information!

  4. The holidays can be really tough with a kitty. Mine loves our christmas tree. He will climb up inside, and knock the ornaments off and everything. I hope he doesn't chew on the lights and stuff.
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  5. These are some great holiday tips! Not many people realize that the holidays bring more danger to the lives of your pets. Last year, our dog ate an ornament off our tree and he got really sick. We had to take him to an emergency veterinarian.

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  7. I think that my dog has eaten a Christmas ornament. I am missing one and my dog keeps throwing up. Do animal hospitals take emergency cases?

  8. Thanks for the great tips on keep our pets safe during the holidays. Thankfully none of my wonderful pets were hurt this season. Though last Thanksgiving one of my dogs got to some of the turkey bones. We had to rush him to the emergency room to get the bones removed. It did not make for a very fun holiday.

  9. These are really cute and fun pictures. I need to find a animal hospital in my area. I recently got a new puppy and want to make sure that she has all the medical care she needs.

  10. I really like these pictures. I have also working in a pet care clinic where we are provided the pet care services. You can follow us for any details about pet care.

  11. I had no idea that all these food items could be so dangerous for pets! We generally feed bits of food off the table to our pets year round so I'll have to make sure we cut back on that when all the holiday sweets are out. Thank you for making sure to warn about all the substances that are harmful to pets! This was a great article!

  12. I'd never heard that confetti could get lodged inside cats, but I'll be much more careful with my streamers in the future. My cat already hates the holidays-- he's not a big fan of loud noise. He usually avoids all the parties and hides under my bed until the guests go home. |

  13. I didn't realize just how many risks there are involved with Christmas decorations for my cat. I was putting up my Christmas tree when my four month old kitten decided to see what I was doing. I took out the tinsel and she attacks it as soon as I take it out of the box. I let her play with it for a little while. I didn't realize it that she could choke on the pieces of tinsel. I'm really lucky that she didn't or else I would have had to take her to the vet.

  14. I love my pets, and I try to keep them safe, but I never would have thought of these. I don't put tinsel up anymore, my kitties love it a little too much. I also can't put up lights that blink, they drive my cats crazy. I also can't put presents under the tree until the morning of Christmas, they cause too much trouble with them.

  15. There are a lot of safety tips that you should follow during the holidays to make sure that your pets do not get hurt. I like that these tips are coming from people that work at an animal hospital and they know what they are talking about. They give these tips, because they are things that they have had to deal with on a regular basis around this time.

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  18. I never realized how harmful wires could be to pets. I guess it makes sense because they do tend to chew on things. I'll have to make sure the Christmas lights aren't in chewing-range. Thanks for sharing these tips!

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