You’re not AT ALL surprised we’re writing about pets, are you?!
November is here, and holiday celebrations are officially starting!! We anticipate that will mean happy memories made by your family, your guests, and your furry companions.
Those tasty meals mean tasty scraps and stealthy invitations to those who stalk under the dining room table…
However, the holidays can put our fur babies in danger…all the “new things” around the house like ornaments, flowers, candles—basically anything that can be chewed on or climbed—can render our pets curious, and eventually put them in danger.
NOTHING can spoil good cheer like an emergency visit to the veterinary clinic.
Let’s take a look at some simple safety tips for your pets, plus some TREAT and gift ideas that will allow your fur babies to not only have fun, but stay SAFE this holiday season…
How to make your holiday decorations pet-safe
If you put a tree up, with all its lights and ornaments, most pets will get curious. If your tree isn’t placed properly in your home, it can TIP OVER, ending up a tree disaster for your ornament collection and whichever poor pet it falls on!
Consider placing your tree in a corner or tying it to the ceiling or a doorframe using wire or fishing line. Place aluminum foil around its base for an added “alarm” whenever anyone crawls near…
Tinsel and ornaments:
Tinsel can add some sparkle, but it can also be dangerous for pets. If they eat it, tinsel can lead to intestinal blockage, and in turn, to surgery. If you really want to use tinsel, make sure it’s out of any pet’s reach.
Breakable ornaments or decorations can also lead to an emergency veterinary visit. Make sure your pet can’t reach anything that could be harmful for them if they break or eat it.
Have you seen a pet get tangled in window blind cords? We have. Electric lights can get your pet even more tangled up, can cause burns, and can even result in electric shock if your pet chews the cords.
I can’t stress this one enough: put lights out of your pet’s reach by adding them only to your tree’s higher branches or by sticking to using them over the doors and windows!
Flowers and potpourris:
Both can make up a cute home decoration, but they can also be dangerous for your pet. Common holiday plants like Amaryllis, balsam, cedar, and mistletoe can result in poisoning if your furry friend decides to get a taste of them. Before decorating your home with flowers, take a look at these lists of toxic dog and cat plants.
Potpourris should be kept out of reach as well because they contain essential oils that can damage your pet’s skin, mouth, and nose.
Candles can add a warm touch to your home decoration. However, for obvious reasons, your pet should never be left alone or unsupervised in a place with lit candles. Also, candles should be placed out of your pet’s reach.
Expert tip: For homes with fireplaces, screens should be used to avoid accidental burns.
Classic holiday foods your pets should and shouldn’t eat
Holiday foods can be irresistible for your pet. However, some human foods can be dangerous for your furballs, and should be avoided. To tame the temptations, you can share some holiday, pet-friendly treats.
Here’s a CRUCIAL cheat-sheet of the human foods you should NOT share with your pet.
- Chocolate: Chocolate is present at every holiday…however, it’s toxic to both dogs and cats.
- Turkey and turkey skin: Both are dangerous because they can cause pancreatitis, which for pets is often life-threatening.
- Sweets and baked foods: These are too heavy for pets to digest. Some of them also contain artificial sweeteners that can cause life-threatening conditions in dogs.
- Table scraps: Gravy, meat fats, and—of course—bones, should not be shared with pets. Besides being incredibly fattening and hard to digest, depending on what they’re seasoned or preserved with, they can also be toxic.
There are some human foods that ARE safe to share with your pets. Those include veggies, cheeses, and the majority of fruits.
However, our furry family members deserve some of their own delicacies during the holidays!! Here is a list of 5 homemade treats your pet will adore…
- Christmas cookie dog treats: A festive, healthy dog treat, made of cranberries and green pumpkin seeds – recipe.
- Sweet potato holiday dog treats: What could be more festive or delicious? – recipe
- Salmon cat treats: Super easy to make, super tasty for your cat. – recipe
- Organic spinach and chicken cat treats: Organic, healthy, and crunchy. Your cat will be purring for more. – recipe
- Holiday peanut butter dog treats: A great way to share some of the holiday spirit with your dog. – recipe
Planning a holiday trip somewhere?
If you are in for a holiday journey or planning to send your pet to a boarding facility, take the following precautions to guarantee your pet’s safety and comfort:
- Make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines.
- Ask for referrals, visit and walk the entire facility to make sure your fur baby is in good hands and in a safe environment.
- Ask for a copy of the daily schedule. Learn when your pet will be fed, when it’s time to play, and if pets are supervised.
- Ask for a single room. Some pets may get stressed up if placed with other strange animals.
- Make sure to inform the boarding facility of any special dietary or health needs of your pet.
Expert secret…5 holiday pet gifts for a pawsome holiday
Pets, just like us, love gifts! Here is a list of 5 holiday pet gifts to show your appreciation for the unconditional love you receive from your furry companion…
- Holiday pet pajamas – make sure the rest of the family is wearing a matching set!
- Bowtie dog and cat collar, or bandana – stylish and festive.
- Pet-safe interactive laser – for adventurous cats.
- Holiday squeaky Christmas dog toys – your dog will get a “taste” of the Christmas spirit.
- Rope toys – for intensive chewers!
The holiday season is all about celebrations, fun, gifts, and delicacies. Follow our tips to keep your furry family member happy and safe, and avoid an emergency visit to the veterinary clinic.