Top Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

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We know you love your pets and when the holidays come around, you want to share the joy of the season with your four-legged family members. But each year, thousands of pets become injured or ill amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Share extra affection and be thankful as can be, but keep your pets safe with these handy tips to get you and your pets safely through the holidays.

This holiday season, kids can become the Pet Safety Patrol in their home. Cut out these tips and stick them on your fridge to help keep your pets safe!

We know you love your pets and when the holidays come around, you want to share the joy of the season with your four-legged family members. But each year, thousands of pets become injured or ill amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Share extra affection and be thankful as can be, but keep your pets safe with these handy tips to get you and your pets safely through the holidays.

TURKEY’S OKAY, BUT BONES ARE A NO-NO.
What pet wouldn’t enjoy a little turkey at Thanksgiving? But cooked bones of any kind, from chicken to turkey, can have sharp splinters and should never be given to your pets.

HOLIDAY PLANTS.
Watch out for holiday plants including holly, mistletoe and poinsettias, which can be poisonous to your pets. If you must have them in your home, keep them far out of reach. Better bet: Choose faux plants and you’ll have them each year.

OH! CHRISTMAS TREE.
All it takes to knock over a tree is the enthusiastically wagging tail of a larger dog or a climb from a curious cat. Use ornaments that are unbreakable on the lower boughs to avoid broken glass. For added protection, place a screen around the presents and the tree. Tinsel can pose a choking hazard and an intestinal dilemma for cats and dogs, so choose a garland that is pet-friendly. Avoid tree preservatives in the water reservoir of the tree stand, as pets may stop by for a drink.

CHOCOLATE ISN’T SWEET FOR DOGS AND CATS.
In fact, giving even the smallest taste of chocolate to a pet can be toxic. Pets can become very sick. Share your love, share your happiness, but keep your chocolate to yourself.

CORRAL THE ELECTRICAL CORDS.
The holidays are a time for added electrical cords. To cats and dogs, these look like playthings. Avoid chewed cords, risk of electrical shock, or dragged decorations by keeping cords taped down and when possible, out of sight.

CANDLES AND MENORAHS.
In addition to electrical cords, burning candles become more prevalent on the holidays. Never leave a candle unattended with a pet in the house, where it can easily be knocked to the ground.

KNOW HOW YOUR PETS WILL REACT TO GUESTS.
Unusual activity and unfamiliar guests can cause stress for your pets resulting in behaviors such as overexcitement, or a desire to run out of fear. Have identification on your pets at all times in case they do slip through an open door. Designate a quiet space for your pet ahead of time, should the excitement become too much.

Keeping dogs and cats safe during the holidays requires extra care, but taking steps to ensure their safety ahead of time means a happier, more relaxed holiday for everyone!

Sherrie A Madia, Ph.D. is an educator, author, and communications coach. Her recent children’s books are Alphabet Woof!, the story of Moxy the dog who eats magic soup and his wish comes true: He can talk!, http://www.AlphabetWoof.com, and her new book Bumblelina, http://www.Bumblelina.com, about a tiny bee who learns the importance of trying in her quest to fly. A portion of the proceeds of each book goes to support the SPCA International.

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