Tips for a Safe and Happy Holiday Season with Your Pet

Sadly, the holidays are a very busy time at many pet hospitals. Dogs, and even some cats, love to scarf down holiday treats, but it can land them in the hospital with pancreatitis, or worse, very quickly. The last thing you want to do is rush your pet to the emergency hospital on Thanksgiving or Christmas! So, how can you avoid disaster this holiday season? Follow our tips for a safe and happy holiday with your pet!

  1. Keep turkey bones and skin away from pets. It’s ok to give your dog a small piece of white meat, but avoid the fatty pieces, and especially the skin and bones. Fatty meat can cause pancreatitis while poultry bones that have been cooked can splinter easily and puncture a hole in the digestive tract. If a dog eats a lot of bone, it could lead to a deadly intestinal blockage.


  1. Other common holiday foods can be dangerous to dogs, too. Never give a dog raisins, grapes, salty foods, foods that contain onions or garlic, sweets that contain xylitol, or chocolate. Keep all leftovers secured and out of the reach of your dog to be safe.


  1. Trash is another hazard for dogs, so secure that too. Many of the items used to prep the meal are extremely hazardous to animals if consumed, such as foil and turkey string. These things will smell very tempting to your dog, so keep temptation out of reach.


  1. Decorative plants can be another hazard around the holidays. Holly, mistletoe, lilies are extremely dangerous for both dogs and cats. Surprisingly, poinsettias aren’t as dangerous as you might think, usually only causing an upset stomach, but they should still be kept out of reach.


  1. Holiday decoration can also present a danger to cats and dogs. Things like tinsel and ribbons are especially hazardous if ingested. Be sure to keep electrical cords for Christmas lights out of the reach of pets who might chew on them, too.


  1. During holiday gatherings, there will be a lot of people going in and out, so be sure your pet can’t slip out and get lost or wind up in the road. If your pet gets anxious in large crowds, keep him in a quiet room while guests are around.

Follow these guidelines for a safe and happy holiday season with your pet so that everyone can enjoy their day!