Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

From food safety to knowing about hazards around your home, here's sage advice on how to keep your animal companion safe this season.

Cat and dog under a christmas tree. Pets under plaid

'Tis the season to be jolly. And while your days may be merry and bright, make sure you keep your pet safe over the holidays.

Food safety

December’s holidays call for a time of reflection, celebration and of course, food. And while you might be tempted to share some yuletide snacks with your beloved pet, you may want to rethink that for the sake of their safety.

The San Diego Humane Society warns pet owners to refrain from giving your animal companion any meals with onions, chocolate, grapes or raisins since they could be toxic. Foods that are too fatty or rich can lead to digestive problems in pet so instead of giving them some of your food, indulge your animal companions in a treat for pets that is safe for them to consume.

Decor dangers

It wouldn’t be a holly, jolly holiday without some festive decoration and SDHS reminds pet owners to be mindful of any potential hazards when it comes to décor.

Christmas trees can be tempting for cats who enjoy climbing, so the animal shelter suggests pet owners keep their trees secure and preferably in a corner. Dangling tree ornaments can be a fun toy for cats and dogs but pet owners need to be sure to keep glass and tinsel away from their pets since they can be a choking hazard.

Those who will have a Christmas tree should put ornaments on high branches to keep paws out of reach and light chords should be taped down and secured so pets won’t chew on them.

Additionally, presents could pose a danger to pets since ribbons and bows can be a choking hazard. Pet parents should monitor their furry loved ones around gifts to make sure they do not chew on any of the gifts’ decor.

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Home hazards

Several seasonal plants can be dangerous for pets if they are eaten or even just nibbled, according to the San Diego Humane Society. Holiday favorites such as mistletoe, lilies, Christmas roses, amaryllis, holly, Christmas cacti, jolly, poinsettias and juniper can all be toxic to our furry friends.

Make sure to keep such plants out of reach of pets.

Additionally, make sure potentially dangerous items like burning candles are out of harm’s way. A cat’s curiosity or a dog’s wagging tail “could be devastating,” according to the animal shelter. Fireplaces should also have screens on them so that pets can avoid accidentally burning themselves.

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Create a safe space

While blasting holiday music and celebrating with festivities are among some of the beloved activities associated with the December holidays, too much noise and activity can be stressful for our pets.

To avoid overwhelming them, the San Diego Humane Society recommends creating a quiet and secure space for your pet to relax in if they are showing signs of stress. Place their bed and favorite toy in that safe area for them and also put food and fresh water.

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