Healthy Ways for Pets to Enjoy the Holidays
During the holidays, there are a lot of seasonal household hazards. Here are some safe ways you can share the holiday season… with your pets!
- Learn a new trick! What better way to bond with your pets than to add a fun trick to show off to the relatives. It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks!
- Family Pictures. Sure it’s tough to get everyone to sit still, but a candid shot makes for an even better memory. Gather the critters for that Christmas card worthy picture!
- Matching Christmas Sweaters. Yeah, I’m serious. Why not let everyone experience some Christmas fashion? Maybe let the cat sit this one out.
- Take a nap! The holidays are fun for everyone, but they are also tiring! So curl up, watch a movie, and take some time to enjoy spending time together.
Holiday Safety Hazards for Pets
In the Kitchen
- Fatty foods- it’s tempting to slip the pets a snack. Foods that our pets aren’t used to can make them very sick. Pancreatitis, vomiting, and diarrhea can result from eating too many table scraps. In some cases this can be severe.
- Bones- bones can splinter, cause obstructions, cause GI upset, and damage the intestinal tract. Absolutely no turkey, chicken, or pork bones for fido!
- Garlic and Onions- in large quantities these can cause abnormalities with red blood cells.
- Chocolate- this is no big news, but around the holidays it’s easy to forget how good fido is at using his nose! Even wrapped gifts aren’t safe from your pup!
- Raisins and grapes- a friendly reminder that these snacks and ingredients in many recipes can be deadly.
- Sugar Free candies and gums containing xylitol- possibly the most lethal on this list, xylitol is highly toxic because it causes a profound hypoglycemia.
Holiday plants that can make your pet ill
- Poinsettias – although not lethally toxic, chomping on these leaves can cause significant GI upset
- Lilies- It’s not Easter, but it still bears consideration. No Lilies for cats! Even licking the pollen of the lilly from the coat is highly toxic to a cat’s kidneys.
In your living room
- Tinsel, garlands, strings, and ribbons- when swallowed, these can be very dangerous in the intestines. Although cats are more prone to swallow these items, a curious puppy may find a ribbon interesting.
- Christmas tree water- ick. It sounds disgusting, but our pets don’t know any better. GI upset may result from drinking stagnant water.
- The Christmas tree- a falling Christmas tree isn’t a safe thing for anyone.
- Lights- strings of lights present quite a temptation for pets, especially a curious pup. Remember that a damaged cord is a fire hazard as well as a risk of electrocution.
Other Holiday Considerations
- Holiday Guests- guests may not be prepared for cats or puppies making a bid for freedom. Remind your guests to watch the doors!
- Kids- kids may not know how to act around animals, and may provoke unexpected behavior from our pets. The same can be said for some adults.