The holidays are an amazing time of year when we meet up with our family and friends for gift exchanges and delectable meals at fun gatherings. For many of us, our pets are family too, and we want them to be part of the celebrations whether we’re hosting or visiting. This can be done, but take some important steps to make sure it’s done safely.
For a more exhaustive list of what’s safe and what isn’t, you can check out our previous post on what is and is not safe to feed your pets.
For a basic overview:
- Only offer plain food without spices, excess fats, or ingredients that may be toxic to pets
- Do not give your dog any cooked bones
- Know which foods are toxic, such as garlic and onions
Christmas Tree. A Christmas tree can be a serious hazard to any pets in the home, so it’s important to keep an eye on them and know how they’ll behave once it’s up. The tree can tip over, and overly curious pets could be harmed by chewing on lights, tinsel, or even ornaments. Lights could cause an animal to be electrocuted or burned, while chewing or swallowing tinsel or ornaments could cause a blockage that requires veterinary intervention to remove.
Holiday Plants. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), amaryllis, mistletoe, poinsettias, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are all toxic plants that are commonly found in homes during the holiday season. It’s best to avoid these plants while doing your holiday decorating if you have pets. If you suspect your pet may have eaten a toxic plant, call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435.
Candles. Candles are a serious fire hazard around the holidays, even when pets aren’t around. Curious dogs or cats that like to knock things over are bound to cause problems when left unattended near candles. If you do have candles out during the holidays, make sure they’re only lit when you can keep an eye on them. Put them out whenever you leave the room or the home to avoid a potential house fire.
Safe Space. Make sure your pets have a safe, quiet area of the home that they can escape to if they become overwhelmed during a holiday gathering. This is especially important for any pets that are normally skittish around strangers or groups of people, as they will likely spend most of their time there. They should have a comfortable place to rest with food and water available. To avoid the risks of bites to visitors and trauma to your furry friend, the safest place for your companion to be during a potentially stressful time is a confined or small, familiar space in the home.
Mind the Door. Pets that are at risk of running should always be watched closely when guests are using an exterior door. Your pet should be held if they’re at risk of darting until the door is closed and it’s safe to let them roam again. This can be a bit of work, but it’s critical for avoiding a lost pet during the holidays. It’s also a good idea to make sure your pet is microchipped with up-to-date information and a collar with your contact information on it. Taking these steps will greatly increase the chances of being reunited with your pet if they do happen to go on an unexpected adventure.
Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companion’s Health
Your companion’s health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companion’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.