Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays

Step into Christmas: Pet Safety Tips for the Howlidays

Even though it’s the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas can be chaotic for all your family members, especially your four-legged ones. With out-of-town guests, festive decorations, and wrapped presents, there will be plenty of new hazards for your pets. Follow our tips to ensure a holly, jolly, and safe Christmas.

Tip #1: (Don’t Be) Underneath the Christmas Tree

While the Christmas tree is the heart of any household during the holidays, it’s important to be aware of the possible dangers for your dog or cat. If ingested, the fir tree oils in your tree's needles may irritate your pet’s mouth and stomach, resulting in excessive drooling or vomiting. The needles don’t digest well either and can lead to gastrointestinal obstructions.

Are you trying to decide between a real and fake Christmas tree? An artificial tree is your safest option but can still be harmful if your pets chew on the plastic needles. Keep an eye on your lovable companion to make sure they stay out of trouble.

Tip #2: Cat-Proof Your Christmas Tree

No matter what kind of tree you have, your frisky feline might try to give the festive fir a climb. To avoid a collapsed tree, consider securing it in a corner and using a bitter-scented spray to discourage your cat from rockin’ around the Christmas tree.

Tip #3: Paws Before Drinking

The water supply at the base of live trees is often full of preservatives, pesticides, fertilizers, and other agents that can cause stomach issues for your four-legged friend. If your dog or cat is a tad too curious, opt for a covered water dish to be on the safe side.

Tip #4: Be Cautious When Decking the Halls

Set up your tree a few days before decorating it. This will give your pet a chance to investigate and lose interest in the festive addition to your home. When it’s time to add the decorations, avoid edible ones, and keep the tinsel and glass ornaments out of reach. Pro tip: Hang bells low on the Christmas tree, so you can hear when your pets are up to no good.

Tip #5: Rethink the Mistletoe and Holly

Bright plants are an easy way to bring vibrancy to your house during the holidays, but they may be hazardous for your dog or tabby. Though not deadly, poinsettias are mildly toxic and may result in nausea and vomiting if eaten. Mistletoe and holly, on the other hand, do pose a significant issue for your furry friends. While you can’t go wrong singing about these lovely plants (looking at you, Frank Sinatra), mistletoe and holly can be severely toxic if eaten by your pets. When it comes to lilies, it’s smart to keep them out of the house altogether. They’re extremely dangerous to felines, and even the smallest ingestions can result in acute kidney failure.

With these pet-friendly tips, you’re sure to have a meowy Christmas and a barky New Year!

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