Tis’ The Season: Holiday Pet Safety And Celebrations
Gone are the days when the family pet is relegated to the cold, dark backyard when the family gets together for a meal or gathering (thank goodness!). Instead, the pets of today are free to enjoy the fun and excitement of holiday celebrations right along with the rest of the family, whether curled up on the rug by the fire, resting in a warm lap, or begging for scraps under the dinner table.
As pet parents and animal lovers, it’s safe to say that most of us enjoy sharing our holiday shenanigans with our dogs, cats, parakeets, gerbils, and bearded dragon lizards. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the holidays bring with them a special set of safety concerns for our pets. Before you get too deep into holiday-mode, take a moment to “pet-proof” your festivities with our simple tips.
Feasting is a big part of the holidays. Keep the following in mind before settling down for your holiday meals:
Food– By now most of us know that certain foods, such as chocolate and raisins, are toxic to pets if ingested, but there are some lesser known and equally hazardous edibles to be aware of during holiday feasting. Onions, certain spices, and anything sweetened with Xylitol are especially hazardous and should be kept away from pets.
Alcohol – Watch where you set that cup of cheer during your holiday party. Many pets (like many humans) are drawn to the smell and taste of alcoholic beverages, but even small amounts of alcohol can cause big trouble for pets.
Trash – Food is food to a pet, whether it’s on your plate or in your trashcan. Items with food residue left on them, such as aluminum foil, skewers, plastic wrap, and bones can wreak havoc on a pet’s digestive tract if ingested. Play it safe by packing up leftovers immediately and keeping garbage containers covered.
Turning your home into a winter wonderland come December is a valued tradition for many of us, but it’s important to keep the safety of our furry pals in mind as we dig through those bins of ornaments and garland. The following items should be either placed where pets can’t reach them or avoided altogether:
- Tinsel, ribbon, and bits of wrapping paper are irresistible to some pets (cats especially) but can cause serious problems such as intestinal blockage if swallowed.
- Glass ornaments make fun play toys… until they shatter on the floor and cause abrasions to paw pads or tender noses. Hang breakable ornaments at the top of your tree to avoid this particular disaster.
- Strings of lights and other electrical cords are holiday trimming staples, just be sure to place them where your pet can’t (get at them?). Besides becoming entangled in cords, one little nibble is all it takes for your pet to fall victim to a dangerous electric shock.
It’s probably obvious that lit candles and pets don’t mix, but many of us still tend to underestimate our pet’s abilities to jump or climb when they spot something that interests them. Since a house fire is the last thing any of us need during the holiday season (or anytime), it’s best to supervise all lit candles.
Contrary to what you may now be thinking after reading up to this point, we are not anti-holiday here at Beyond Indigo! In fact, we encourage pet parents everywhere to include their four-legged friends in the celebrations whenever possible.
- Grab the kids and whip up a batch of your favorite DIY pet treats as a surprise for your little (or big) buddy.
- Include your pet in your holiday shopping this year: a new scratching post, elevated pet bed, leash, or slow-feeder bowl make excellent pet gifts.
- As chaotic as family photo shoots can be, try to snap a couple of shots together with your pet. You’ll love having the pictures to look back on throughout the years.