Holiday Safety for Pets: Your Guide to a Joyful Season

As the holiday season approaches, we all want to ensure we’re keeping our pets safe and healthy. If your family is like most, there will be lots of new, delicious foods around some of which can be harmful for your pet. There will also be environmental changes like holiday decorations, new visitors, and some loud noise. These changes, albeit fun, can be overwhelming for your pets and it is important to keep the holidays safe and healthy for all the members of your family.

Ensuring a Safe and Joyful Holiday Season for Your Pets

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pet Food Safety During the Holidays

Try to avoid feeding your pet any human food year round, but this can be particularly important during the holiday season. Many human foods can be dangerous and even life threatening for pets. In general try to feed your pet a complete and balanced diet and use treats in moderation. I’ve attached a quick cheat sheet of foods to avoid and foods that are safe if you are like me and can’t help but offer your pets some holiday leftovers.




Décor Safety: Keeping Furry Friends Away from Holiday Hazards

Be cautious with any new tree or plant around as some of them are potentially toxic or can cause gastrointestinal upset when ingested by pets. If you are like our family, our dog in particular loves to chew toys and items he shouldn’t, so this can be a challenging time of year. Try to keep décor out of your pets reach. Salt dough ornaments for instance when ingested can cause severe illness. Pay extra attention to electrical cords to avoid chewing and always remember to unplug before you leave the house.

Easing Your Pet’s Anxiety from Holiday Noise and Guests

New visitors, parties, sounds and fireworks can be scary and overwhelming for some pets! Some quick and easy tools to use to help reduce stress would be using calming pheromones, soothing classical music and a quiet, warm, comfortable place to rest. Try to have your pet’s favorite space ready in advance of the new changes and monitor the exit points where guests are coming in and out. If you feel like this is causing more or new fear, anxiety or stress for your pet, please reach out to your veterinarian to discuss an action plan tailored to their needs.

Your Holiday Emergency Action Plan for Pets

In the unfortunate event where one of these issues may happen to your beloved family member, try to have a plan in place for next steps. Know the number and location of your local veterinary emergency centers that remain open even on holidays. If an accidental ingestion occurs, ASPCA Poison Control can help navigate a plan for you by calling 1-888-426-4435.

The holidays are an exciting time for many of us and our pets can safely and happily be part of every memory we make!

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