The most anticipated holidays of the year are right around the corner. You might be concerned about keeping your pet safe—and rightly so! With festive gatherings, intriguing decorations, wrapped-up gifts, and extra snacks lying around, keeping your pet safe could require more effort than you think. Follow these tips to ensure you and your pet enjoy the holidays without a trip to the emergency vet.
Christmas Trees & Pet Safety
- Choose an out-of-the-way spot for your Christmas tree. If this doesn’t hinder your dog or cat’s desire to climb up to the highest bough, anchor the tree securely so it doesn’t fall over.
- If you have a real tree, cover the water dish with aluminum foil to prevent your pet from drinking the stagnant, possibly fertilizer-filled water. Also, sweep the floor around the tree daily to remove pine needles, which can puncture your pet’s intestines if ingested.
- Skip the tinsel this year. A nibble from a playful pet could turn into a swallow, which could lead to a digestive tract obstruction.
- Avoid edible tree decorations, which are an irresistible temptation for your pet.
- Hang lights and ornaments on all but the lowest branches to make them less accessible to your pet. This technique guards against electric shock and broken ornaments, which could leave dangerous glass shards on the ground.
Holiday Decorations, Gifts & Your Pet
- Traditional Christmas poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly are poisonous to dogs and cats. If you decorate with live plants, keep them up high where your pet can’t reach them. Better yet, substitute with silk plants for the same beauty without the hazard.
- Place lit candles on sturdy, elevated surfaces where a wagging tail can’t accidentally knock them over.
- Set up lights and other decorations out of reach of your pet.
- Keep your pet away while you wrap gifts. The ribbons, bows, strings, and tags could be choking hazards. Scissors are also dangerous, so keep them off the floor and low tables where your pet could find them.
Pet-Safe Holiday Treats
- Don’t feed your pet sugary, fatty, or spicy leftovers from your holiday party. Chicken bones, chocolate, and anything sweetened with xylitol are also no-no’s.
- Secure the lids on garbage cans, which might be filled with extra tempting scraps from special family dinners this time of year.
- Make sure party guests don’t set their plates or cups (especially those filled with alcohol) on a low table where your pet could reach it.
- Only leave out goodie plates for guests to enjoy if you’re confident your pet can’t reach it. The same goes for Santa’s milk and cookies!
- Stuff your pet’s stocking with chew toys, Kongs, a new ball, catnip-stuffed mouse, or another special treat—just wait until Christmas morning to do so, or you might risk a torn up stocking in the days leading up to the holiday.
Get More Pet Safety Tips at Germantown Vet
If you follow these suggestions, you and your pet should enjoy a happy holiday season together. For more pet safety tips, feel free to contact Germantown Vet today. We also accept emergency walk-ins if your dog or cat gets into something he shouldn’t this Christmas.
For pet emergencies, please call us at 240-252-7467. Otherwise, feel free to contact us online or visit our vet clinic in Montgomery County with any other questions you have.