Keep Pets Safe Over the Winter Holidays

The winter holidays can be fun for the whole family, but make sure it’s a safe time for your pet. Here are a few tips to protect your pet over the holidays.

Holiday plants

Festive holly and mistletoe are extremely toxic to pets if eaten. Chewing on poinsettia leaves, while not poisonous, can lead to severe stomach upset. While enjoying holiday plants, keep your pets safe by placing them out of reach.

Holiday lights

Don’t forget that cords connected to lights are a tempting chew-toy for any kitten or puppy. Please secure or cover them to prevent shocks or burns.

Lighted candles

The flickering flame of lit candles can be interesting and exciting to pets, especially kittens. Both candle flames and hot wax can cause severe burns to pets as well as putting you at risk for a house fire.

  • Anchor candles so they can’t be tipped over
  • Never leave lighted candles unattended

Tree safety

Holiday trees should be secured in a solid stand and may even be best if anchored to the ceiling or wall so they can’t be tipped over. Many pets will drink water from the tree stand so be sure to:

  • Use fresh clean water.
  • Change it daily
  • Avoid preservatives or additives
  • It’s best not to put food items, even wrapped ones, under a tree, as pets have a keen sense of smell and may not understand the goodies aren’t meant for them

Handle with care

Pets, especially puppies and kittens, are curious about new things in their environment. Glass ornaments and ornament hooks can cause cuts and puncture wounds. Tinsel, especially attractive to cats because of its shimmer, must be placed out of reach. If swallowed, tinsel can become wrapped around the base of the tongue, and if swallowed can cut through the intestines, creating a life-threatening emergency.

Holiday stress

The holidays bring changes to the normal routine that can be stressful for pets. Additional people, increased noise and extra hustle and bustle may make your pet nervous.

  • Make sure pets have a quiet, comfortable place with food and water where they can relax.
  • Before the holidays begin, be sure all pets have well-fitting collars with current ID tags in case they accidently get out. Remember to keep an eye on the entrances and exits of your home in order to keep your pets from escaping.
  • Make sure dogs get the regular walks and exercise they are accustomed to each day; it will help relieve some of the stress associated with changes in routine.
  • Be aware that pets not used to being around small children may feel threatened or unsafe. In these situations it’s best to take measures to ensure everyone’s safety.