Holiday Safety for Pets

As the holidays approach and our spirits rise, our pets sense the excitement too. This time of year can be filled with fun, family, friends...and also many tempting, but dangerous, things for our four-legged friends. There are a number of things that concerned pet owners should know to keep their pets safe during the holiday season, and all winter long.

Merry Christmas!The holidays for many people involve lots of decorating, baking, and gift giving, but these things can turn out hazardous for our pets. Many of our festive plants such as mistletoe, holly, and Christmas cactus are poisonous to animals.

Poinsettias and Christmas trees, although not poisonous, can cause stomach upset if ingested. Decorations such as tinsel, string, tree lights, ornaments, liquid potpourris, and artificial snow can be quite intriguing to pets, but may cause them lots of problems if eaten, chewed on, or tangled in.

Throughout the holiday season, kitchens are filled with goodies, but beware...chocolate, bread dough, alcohol, avocado, coffee, garlic, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, salts, and moldy or spoiled foods are all potentially toxic to pets! Keep all food stored away, and be sure to put the garbage in inaccessible containers.

Merry Christmas!Wrapped presents look great under the tree, but be aware that your pet may try to tear them up or eat part of them while you are not watching. Even if your pet has been perfect in the past, keep in mind that this time of year is very busy for people. Pets that don't receive their normal amount of attention and activity will find other ways to occupy their time.

Despite all the necessary precautions, the holidays are a wonderful time for bonding. Nothing is more relaxing than curling up on the couch in front of the Christmas tree with a purring cat or sleeping dog.

By keeping them safe and warm, your pets will be able to enjoy the holidays as much as you do. In fact, having them around seems to make the season even more enjoyable and the winter more tolerable!