Holiday Pet Safety Tips for a Happy and Healthy Pet

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Keep your pets safe this holiday season and avoid a trip to the emergency vet. Follow these holiday pet safety tips for a happy and healthy pet during the chaotic holiday season.

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Pet Safety TIps for the Busy Holiday Season

Tips for a Happy and Healthy Pet this Holiday Season

I can honestly say that some days I feel like I’m living in a zoo. Yes, the teenagers smells slightly like wildebeests some days, but I live with a few too many ACTUAL animals as well. There are feathered things and scaly things and furry things that need tender loving care on a regular basis.

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Tips for a Happy and Healthy Pet this Holiday Season

Most days, their care fits right into my normal everyday schedule without any problems. We have a routine that works and everyone knows what to expect. However, with the holidays rolling around soon, our schedules are bound to get out of whack.  If you want a happy and healthy pet this holiday season, there are a few things you need to keep in mind during the coming months.

dog with santa hat and beard on

How do you keep your pets safe during the holidays?

Keeping your pet safe during the holidays isn’t always easy.  You need to be careful what you buy, where you leave it, and monitor your pet as much as possible.  Young animals are especially curious about holiday tinsel, candles, and unattended Christmas cookies.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to keep your pet safe this month. 

Be cautious of where you put things: 

Holidays mean precious heirlooms, delicate china and children’s art projects with sky high sentimental value. Take care when you set them places that they won’t be knocked over or even worse, eaten! That cardboard Christmas tree with gum drop decorations will NOT set well with your pup’s tummy! Christmas candy is definitely NOT part of a healthy pet diet!

guitar, amplifier and electrical cords

Wrap and tuck the electrical cords: 

This is one of the most important holiday pet safety tips I am going to share.  Make sure that your electrical cords are protected! Either tape them down, hide them, or tuck them inside a paper tube for safe keeping.  hewing through electrical cords can be deadly for your pet! How do you stop a dog from chewing electrical cords?  Spray the wires with Bitter Apple spray.  It tastes gross and most pets will avoid it. 

Stick to your routine: 

Animals are creatures of habit and while YOU may enjoy sleeping in while your kids are on break, your dog still wants to go out and eat breakfast at a decent hour of the morning. Try to stick to a routine as best as possible to avoid undue stress.

Tips for a Happy and Healthy Pet this Holiday Season

What plants are toxic to pets?

There are many pretty plants that can be deadly if eaten. Poinsettias and pine can both cause problems. Check the ASPCA toxic and non-toxic plant list for more information about keeping your pet safe from toxic plants.  Here are a few plants that are dangerous to pets that you should avoid buying:

  • Castor plant 
  • Hemlock  
  • English Ivy, both leaves and berries 
  • Mistletoe  
  • Oleander  
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lilies.

A healthy pet is a well exercised one! 

A tired dog is a happy dog and one who is NOT getting into mischief every moment your back is turned! Don’t skip the daily walk or the weekend trip to the dog park or your dog may look elsewhere for entertainment.  Spend some time giving them attention, exercise, etc to keep them tired out and happy.  You won’t have to worry as much about holiday pet safety tips if your pup is napping in the corner!

small dog sleeping on bed

Provide a safe and quiet space for your pet: 

Make sure that your pet has a place to escape to when things get too chaotic. If you are having a dinner party or hosting the annual New Year’s Eve bash, make sure there is a dark and unoccupied room for your dog or cat to hide in.  I highly recommend crate training your puppy, however, just keeping a bedroom door open and a pet bed on the floor may be enough. 

Keep emergency vet numbers handy: 

Make sure you are prepared in case of emergency. Put your vet’s business card and your emergency vet’s number on the front of the refrigerator in case your pet finds trouble.  Call them ahead of the busy season and as for a few of their holiday pet safety tips.  They have seen just about every crazy pet scenario you can imagine!

Ask your vet about anxiety medications for pets: 

If you pet is prone to panic,  you may want to talk to the vet about anti anxiety medications. Holidays are filled with loud noises, big crowds, and tons of chaos that can really stress out your pet. A stressed pet is more prone to biting so make sure you keep them as calm as possible, even if that means medicating them. If you don’t want a prescription medication, check out Rescue Remedy for Pets

vet tech at boarding kennel

Provide the comforts of home if you will be boarding your pet: 

Bringing your dog’s food from home is a great way to keep stomach upset to a minimum at the kennel. Providing their own blankets and a favorite toy or two will help them feel more at home and relaxed.

Questions to Ask a Boarding Kennel
  • How far in advance do I need to book during the holidays?
  • What vaccinations do you require? Does your pet need a preboarding exam?
  • How are the animals housed? Will they be given time outside to play?  How often are they exercised.
  • How much personal attention do they get?  Will the kennel staff play with them?
  • Can they accommodate pets with special needs? What about special diets, medications, or mobility issues?
  • Should you bring your pet’s food or use the food they provide?

dog eating food out of a person's hand

Feed only healthy pet food.  Not table scraps!

A high quality food is important year round and skipping the table scraps will help ensure that your pet’s stomach stays happy and healthy this holiday season. Table scraps can lead to diarrhea and vomiting which is not something anyone likes to deal with, especially with a house full of guests.

Tips for a Healthy Pet This Holiday Season

Christmas tree safety for healthy pets:

Putting up a Christmas tree is one of the best parts of the holiday season.  Christmas trees and pets don’t always mix well, however.  Being mindful of these Christmas tree safety tips for pets may help you avoid a trip to the emergency vet!

Are real Christmas trees safe for pets? Christmas trees are considered “mildly toxic,”.  Don’t let them eat fallen Christmas tree needles if possible.   Don’t put preservatives in the tree water supply because those will be toxic to pets if they drink it.  Christmas tree flocking can cause a blockage in cats so avoid that if possible. 

How do you pet proof a Christmas tree? Well, that is challenging!  Avoid metal ornament hooks, Christmas tree tinsel, breakable tree ornaments, and anything else you think they might want to play with.  Keep lights up high off the ground and consider a Christmas Tree Defender to keep your cats out of the tree!

Comments

  1. What great tips-so many people forget their furry friends during the holidays!
  2. Great tips!! With SOOOOO much going on during the holiday season from planning to decorating to entertaining, pets can often take a back seat -- especially the quiet kitty. I remember my mom freaking out when she saw my cat eating the Poinsettias!
  3. We still sneak some table scraps when they're being really good. Probably still better for them than a treat.
  4. #1 was one that I always paid attention to. Thanks Dear Leo never ate plants.
  5. Great post! Its often so busy at the holidays that pets get neglected! I think you honed in the must follow steps to keep everything in check.

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