Holiday Safety for Pets

1. The Holiday Tree
A holiday tree can look more like a playground than a holiday decoration to a curious cat. To keep pets safe, be sure to anchor your holiday tree well so it doesn’t tip and fall.

2. Decorative Dangers
Pets may think tinsel and ornaments are toys – but when ingested, these holiday decorations can obstruct the digestive tract, causing serious health concerns. Ornaments and tinsel should be kept out of your pet’s reach at all times.

3. Gift Safety
Avoid giving pets toys that can be chewed into pieces. There is always the risk of pieces of a chewed toy becoming lodged in a pet’s esophagus or digestive tract. Although cats love yarn and ribbon, the long fibers can also cause intestinal blockages. When giving gifts to furry family members, it’s best to stick to safer toys (like kongs and balls) and healthy treats instead.

4. Festive Plants
Some holiday plants, when ingested, can cause health problems for pets. Avoid decorative plants such as holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies – which can be the most dangerous. Even pine needles, when ingested, can wreck havoc in your pet’s intestines – so keep your pet away from fallen needles.

5. Human Food
Holiday foods, including fatty meats (especially roasts with bones), gravy, spicy foods, sweets and chocolate should all be kept far away from pets. Make sure to keep your pets away from the holiday table and unattended plates of food.

6. Holiday Beverages
Alcoholic beverages are dangerous when ingested by pets and should never be left on tables that are within your pet’s reach.

7. Holiday Lighting
Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Be sure candles are placed on a stable surface and always put the flames out prior to leaving a room.

8. Reduce Stresses
The excitement of the holiday season can be stressful for pets, triggering possible illness and intestinal upset. If you’re hosting any holiday parties, make sure pets have a safe place to retreat in your house. And make sure they are wearing current I.D. in case they escape out a door when guests come and go.

9. Tree Water
Standing/stagnant tree water can grow bacteria (making it unsafe for pets to drink) – so it’s best to keep your pet away from the trees so they are not tempted to sip the water.

10. Poison Control
If you believe that your pet might have eaten something toxic, call your veterinarian and Animal Poison Control Center immediately.