5 Pet Safety Tips During the Holidays

From my home to yours: Merry Christmas, Friends! Hope you are enjoying time together with family and friends this holiday.

Pet safety during the holidays

Seems like I write a great deal about fun things for people during the holidays. Here's a special message from my dogs that they want you to hear: 

Five tips to keep your dogs and other pets safe during the holidays:

1) Provide safe pet toys to chew so they don't chew on holiday decor, etc.
My dogs love having everyone home at Christmas, but they also end up finding lots of not so good things to chew on. Dogs love to chew. On almost anything. Toys (and decorations) that are not designed for dogs are not safe play toys for pets. Small parts--even the squeaky part inside a toy--can spell trouble if your pup chews up the toy and swallows the choking hazard. Instead give your dog indestructible toys like a Kong filled with dog treats. 

2) Supervise your pet around the Christmas tree.
Christmas trees are SO interesting! But keep your dog and cat away from the tree decorations, cords, AND the tree water. Some tree water preservative mixtures may contain fertilizers, and stagnant tree water can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Pine needles when ingested can damage and even puncture the intestine. Vacuum up the needles daily to help keep pets safe. One tip to keep pets away from the tree area from PawRescue Org include: 

  • Place sticky mats on or around the tree area
  • Put some pennies in empty plastic drink bottles (screw the cap on tight) and balance the bottles on the bottom branches of the holiday tree or plant so that they will noisily tip over if a cat or other pet jumps at or on the tree.

3) Give them pet-safe treats and avoid feeding pets "people food"
Who can resist holiday meals and all those snacks? Well, your dog can't resist them either and the problem is an innocent looking "snack" can be deadly. Even people food can be toxic to your dog. It's hard to resist giving your pooch a snack from the dinner table. Especially during the holidays. Unfortunately some foods that people love--even foods that are healthy for you--can harm or kill your pet. (List of toxic foods and plants below.) Stock up on dog and cat friendly treats and have them available to spoil your pooches. Remember to watch them when they eat treats. Never leave a dog alone with a chewing treat like rawhide because they can choke on these treats if they accidentally chew too fast. (I included a list of the common signs of poisoning in pets below).

4) Some holiday plants are so tempting to pets but they can be toxic
Many of your favorite household plants are poisonous to pets too. Check out the ASPCA--17 Common Poisonous Plants.

5) Watch out for the common signs of pet poisoning:

  • Muscle tremors or seizures
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Redness of skin, ears, and eyes
  • Swelling and bleeding
For a detailed look at poisonous foods and items for pets, check out ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
More information on pet safety in my Momathon Blog post today.
(Photo above by my son with post processing by me.)

dog driving a car artwork by chris olson

~ Chris Olson

Writer and illustrator

Momathon Blog: the 24/7 mommy marathon–on two feet or four wheels





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