Festive excitement and cheer are in the air. The anticipation is building, and loads of holiday activities, meals and decorations are being prepped. It’s truly a most wonderful time of the year! But, if you’re a pet owner, you should also be considerate of how all of this fest is going to affect your furry companion, as things like holiday plants, lights and other changes around your house can impact their safety.
So, how can a pet owner safely prepare for the holidays? Here are 10 easy tips that you can implement into your holiday routine to ensure that absolutely everyone stays safe and full of cheer:
- Make Christmas trees off limits – Whenever possible, keep your pets out of rooms with Christmas trees to avoid the many dangers that they pose. To a pet, all of those dangling decorations look like toys that they want to tear apart. But, all of that glass, the ornament hooks, the tinsel, etc. can cause serious injury to your pet.
- Avoid stringing decorations in areas accessible to pets – Just like those Christmas tree ornaments, a pet can easily mistake a long string of light (or any hanging décor) for a toy which can lead to choking and all sorts of other accidents. It’s best to keep these out of places where your pet frequently wanders.
- Watch out for poisonous holiday plants – Unfortunately, there are many beautiful holiday plants that pose very serious dangers to our pets. Common holiday favorites like mistletoe, holly, lilies and poinsettias are poisonous to dogs and cats and can make them very sick if ingested. To play it safe, always do your research or ask your veterinarian what you can and can’t have around your pet.
- Secure all electrical cords and electronics – With all of the holiday lights being strung and electronic decorations coming out, you probably have more power cords scattered around your house than usual. With pets around, it’s a good idea to make sure that all cords are taped down or completely out of reach from your pets, as they can trip on them, chew on them, experience an electric shock from them, etc.
- Keep all foods out of reach – Yes, all of those holiday treats smell and look delicious, but your pet might not share these same warm feelings if they get ahold of something and get sick. Make sure that everything (even that candy bowl) stays completely out of reach.
- Keep daily routines as consistent as possible – With holiday parties and activities in full-swing, your daily routine may be a little out of whack. But, it’s important to try to keep your pet’s routine as consistent as possible, because they can’t adapt to change as quickly or as well as you can.
- Use caution with candles – Nothing says holiday spirit quite like the lighting of your favorite scented candle. But, you must keep a close eye on them at all times if you have pets around. Some pets get a little too curious when they see flames and fires and can accidentally knock a candle over.
- Update ID tags and vaccinations – As more guests are likely to be coming in and out of your home, now is a good time to make sure that all of your pet’s information is up-to-date. Guests aren’t likely to know your day-to-day pet rules which could present opportunity for your pet to slip away while they linger in the front door.
- Create a safe place – With all of the changes going on around your home, make sure that your pet has a place where they feel safe. This security is particularly important as strangers (to your pet) may be in and out of your home with crowds and noise arising. Make sure they have somewhere safe to retreat.
- Keep emergency numbers at the ready – Make sure you have a list of emergency phone numbers for your pet easily accessible, including your veterinarian, a 24-hour pet hospital and the animal poison control center.
Keep these safety tips in mind as you complete your holiday preparations, and help your pet better enjoy the holiday, too!