When It Comes to Holiday Pet Safety, Err On the Side of Caution

A Boston Terrier sitting amongst decorations

Whether it’s a special skill one consciously works on, or it’s simple, dumb luck, getting through the holiday season without getting sick or hurt is critical. While this way of thought definitely applies to people, it’s of equal importance for the pets in our care. 

Since a pet’s wellness isn’t accidental, their overall health utterly depends on an owner’s approach to holiday pet safety. Don’t worry, your friends at East Sacramento Veterinary Center have you covered.

Normalcy Is Key

Sure, the holidays have the potential to completely distract us, but any disruptions to your pet’s routine can cause stress, anxiety, and other behavioral issues. Keeping to their regular meal times, bathroom breaks, and exercise opportunities helps them stay relaxed and calm. If you have questions about supporting their wellbeing during this busy time of year, let us know.

Danger at Your Door

Hosting a party or family gathering at your home? Your pet may be tempted to bolt out through a constantly opening front door, or skip out via a back gate left ajar. First, be sure to update any recent contact changes to their microchip manufacturer, and check that ID tags are secured to their snug-fitting collar. 

Create a cozy, quiet space for your pet to retreat to when the noise/activity levels get too crazy. If they’re crate trained, set them up in a softly-lit room with fresh water, healthy snacks, and comfortable bedding. Otherwise, simply check on them periodically, give them chances to burn off steam (with a walk or play time), and reward them with praise.

Threats to Holiday Pet Safety

Just like Thanksgiving foods, many holiday treats are considered hazardous. Because they present choking risks, foreign body dangers, or are downright toxic, pets should not eat any of the following:

  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Raisins, grapes or currants
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Xylitol (found in sugar-free candy or baked goods)
  • Fatty meats
  • Raw dough
  • Bones
  • Turkey skin
  • Rich, buttery foods

Know the signs of a pet emergency and call us for help.

Decor and More

To keep holiday pet safety a priority this year, we recommend decorating your house and property with the following tips in mind:

  • Christmas trees should be anchored to the back wall or ceiling. Keep the tree stand covered to deter your pet from drinking the water. Clean up fallen needles ASAP.
  • Breakable glass ornaments may be better off in storage.
  • Say no to tinsel!
  • Edible garlands are very attractive to pets.
  • Poinsettia, mistletoe, and holly can be poisonous to hungry/curious pets.
  • Candles, simmering potpourri, and essential oil diffusers don’t mix with pets.
  • Gift wrap, ribbons, string, tape, and cellophane can cause serious GI obstructions that often require surgical removal. Clean up quickly after a gift exchange.

From Us, To You

Probably the most effective tip to promote holiday pet safety is also the most basic. Constant supervision of your pet is the best way to ensure they’re safe from harm. Watch closely for any shifts in behavior, and act quickly if they need help.

If we can assist your further, please let us know. From all of us at East Sacramento Veterinary Center, we wish you and your pet a happy, safe holiday season.