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Are Your Holiday Plans Safe for Fido and Fuzzy?

December 20, 2016 at 11:14 AM by Nikki Wardle

Pet Wellness and Holiday Parties

It's the most wonderful time of the year, for humans and their furry best friends. But don't be fooled by the warm fuzzies into making potentially dangerous choices for your household pets; dogs and cats can be harmed by some of the most innocuous holiday staples.

Are your plans for this holiday season safe and healthy for your pet?

Keep Your Holiday Merry for Dogs and Cats

Your halls are probably decked with lights, decorations, presents, and knick-knacks to celebrate this cozy time of year, but how many of these items pose a hazard to your pet? Here are the things to keep in mind when you're considering your dog or cat's health and safety.

1. Keep an Eye on the Tree

Your Christmas tree smells and looks lovely, but it could be a danger to your cat or dog in a variety of ways. First, remember that trees will likely be a draw to your pet, as it will have a new, fresh smell, and be a novelty in your living room. This may prompt your cat or dog to jump or climb on your tree, potentially hurting themselves if the tree isn't properly secured. Of course, even if your tree isn't going to fall, using it as a scratching post or jungle gym could still injure your pet. Be sure you keep a close eye on your pet and consider keeping a baby gate around it when you're out. Choose your ornaments with an eye toward safety, as well, as your feline or canine companion could mistake one for a chew toy and hurt themselves.

2. Don't Invite Your Pet to Dinner

Did you know that many of the holiday candies and traditional foods we eat this time of year could be harmful to your pet's health? Make sure you're not sharing any of the sweet, spicy, or fatty foods that we all indulge in this time of year with your cat or dog. Foods such as garlic, onions, avocados, xylitol (found in many candies), chocolate, nuts, and others can be toxic to your pet, possibly even resulting in a life-threatening emergency.

3. Make Your Holiday Party Pet-Friendly

You may be throwing a festive get-together this season, so consider your pet while you're planning. A house full of strange people could make your dog or cat overly stressed, particularly if they're not very social. It could be a good idea to create a haven for your pet during a party, perhaps with a comfortable and familiar bed behind a closed door. If you opt to have your dog or cat part of the party, be sure to remind guests not to share food or drinks (especially alcohol) with them, and be careful not to let them slip out of the house while the door is open.

4. Gift Responsibly

It's tempting this time of year to fill your pet's stocking with fun toys and presents. Make sure that anything you give your pet to play with this season is appropriate and safe for them, and avoid things that could harm him or her. Stay away from any toys with batteries that could be ingested, and don't gift anything with long strings that could cause strangulation. Sturdy chew toys and balls are always excellent gifts.

As always, we're here to help you with any questions or concerns you have about your pet. Give us a call today! We are here to help you.

Topics: Pet Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.