When Planning for the Holidays, Don’t Forget Your Pet!

The holidays are a busy time of year. You have shopping, gift wrapping, and decorating to do, along with phone calls to make and food to prepare. But what about your pet? Will they need to be boarded for a couple of days? Do visitors stress them out? Are they notorious for getting into things they shouldn’t?

A large number of pet emergencies that occur around the holidays involve them ingesting something that is harmful to their health. You don’t need to stress about your pet’s safety, but you should be aware of the risks and know how to work around them.

Safety Tips

Be cautious with the following foods, which can make your pet very sick:

  • Garlic, onions, chives, leeks, and shallots
  • Uncooked bread dough made with yeast
  • Meat bones
  • Any and all types of chocolate, including bakers chocolate and cocoa powder
  • Raisins/grapes and currants
  • Macadamia nuts, walnuts, and pecans
  • Pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole, and anything made with large quantities of nuts, butter, whipped cream, chocolate, nutmeg, and artificial sweetener
  • Xylitol is found in sugar-free candy, gum, and various baked treats and can cause hypoglycemia in pets

Decorations can also be a problem, whether your pet wants to chew on them, eat them, or knock them over:

  • Christmas trees can attract unwanted attention from your pets. Place it in a sturdy tree stand and move it into an unobtrusive corner. If you have a live tree, be sure to vacuum up fallen needles frequently to keep your pet from stepping in them or accidentally getting them in their nose or eyes. Also make sure that the tree water is covered to prevent your pet from drinking it, as the pine needles that may be floating in it can cause choking or internal injury, and the tree sap that mixes with the water is toxic.
  • Keep strands of lights out of the way as much as possible. If your pet decides to chew on one, they could burn their mouth. For additional safety, keep strands of lights where your pet can’t reach them.
  • Avoid decorating your home with holly and mistletoe, which are highly poisonous. The fruit of the Jerusalem cherry plant is also poisonous.
  • Use candles with artificial flames to reduce fire hazards in your home.
  • Any items that can cause choking, including tinsel, ribbon, string/yarn, and garland, should be avoided or used sparingly. Keep an eye on your pet while wrapping gifts and don’t leave scraps sitting around!

Inform Your Guests

If you’re having family and friends over, let them know that your pet should not get table scraps. Instead, have them give your pet a treat here and there, and leave their own food out where they can reach it. No scrap of food is worth your pet’s health and safety. Contact us at (224) 304-0668 if you have any questions about the items listed above or need to have your pet seen.