Keeping Your Pets Safe During the Holiday Season

For many pet parents, the holidays are just as much for the pets in the household as they are for the humans.  But because pets can be mischievous from time to time, here are a few tips to keep them safe during this holiday season:

  • Christmas Trees: Make sure your Christmas tree is anchored securely so that it dies not tip over, and avoid decorations that might entice your pets to play with the tree. This is especially true for cats, who like to play with the ornaments and in particular, tinsel, which can easily cause a choking hazard for them. Dogs should also be supervised carefully around the tree, as some find the ornaments a fun, new “toy”, and may decide to chew on them, which could cause a stomach obstruction.  And if you have a live tree, please remember that the water can be harmful to pets, as it often contains fertilizer or is full of bacteria.
  • Holiday Foods: Many of the yummy treats we snack on during the holidays are not good for our furry companions. Most people know that chocolate can be toxic to pets, but there are also several other potentially toxic foods for pets, and even a piece of turkey or ham can cause a condition known as pancreatitis in pets due to the amount of fat in them.  Keep in mind this also means making sure the garbage can lids are on tight and securing any leftovers in the fridge right away to keep sneaky pets from stealing food from the table or counter.
  • Holiday Plants: Many plants like Holly can cause severe gastrointestinal issues with pets, and other plants, like many varieties of lily plants, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Make sure you check the toxicity of any plants, regardless of the time of year, before bringing them into a home with pets.
  • Electrical Cords: It may seem fare to tantalizing to pets with all the cords that accompany many Christmas décor. Make sure that electric cords are secured and kept out of reach of your pets.  It’s very easy for a pet to start chewing on an unsecured cord and electrocute themselves, which could be potentially fatal.
  • Guests: If you have a lot of guests coming to your house during the holidays, make sure your pets have a room they can retreat to if they feel overwhelmed or where they can be safely housed so that they do not try to escape the house when there are a lot of people around. Also remind guests to keep medications or anything else that a pet may want to chew on, safely out to reach or behind closed doors.

We hope both you and your pets have a safe and wonderful time during the upcoming holidays!

Source: Humane Society Fargo-Moorhead 12-12-12

Happy Holidays from the cats and volunteers at CATS Cradle Shelter!