Tips For Keeping Your Household Pets Safe And Out Of The Animal Hospital During The Holiday Season

The holiday season is one time of the year when pet owners must be extra vigilant to protect their dogs and cats from injury. While you have probably heard that poinsettia plants are toxic for dogs and cats, these flowering plants aren't actually the biggest threat to your pets' health. In fact, the holiday season is a time when many family pets end up in the local animal hospital's emergency room, suffering from preventable injuries and illnesses.

Thankfully, by following each of these tips, you can keep your pets safe and healthy this holiday season:

Tip: Keep Toxic Plants Out of Reach of Your Pets

While poinsettias are actually only mildly toxic for pets, they always manage to get all of the bad press when it comes to holiday greenery warnings. In reality, there are many other plants that are much more toxic, including the following: 

  • amaryllis
  • daffodils
  • lilies
  • holly
  • mistletoe

In addition, the oils in Christmas trees can make your pets sick if they chew on the needles. 

To prevent stomach upset and preventable poisoning, keep all of the above listed plants well out of reach of your pets.

Tip: Keep Ribbons, Tinsel, and Glass Ornaments Off of Your Christmas Tree

Since nearly all cats -- and some dogs -- can't resist the temptation to play with sparkling things dangling from a Christmas tree, it's important to avoid decorating it with things that could land your pet in the animal hospital.

For example, ribbons and tinsel can be eaten and then wrap themselves around your pets internal organs. Glass ornaments can be broken and the glass can cut your pet or make them seriously ill if ingested. 

When decorating your tree, stick to non-breakable ornaments and those made of natural, non-toxic materials such as sisal and cotton.

Tip: Never Feed Pets Human Holiday Foods or Drinks

Many of the foods and drinks humans like to indulge in during the holiday season are harmful to cats and dogs. Some examples of harmful edibles are:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • eggnog 
  • turkey
  • bacon
  • ham

Chocolate and most candies are also dangerous for your pets.

Tip: Keep Pets Contained When Small Children Visit Your Home

Finally, if your cat or dog bites one of your holiday guests, they will end up in quarantine. Since pets that are stressed out or not used to being around small children are much more likely to bite and scratch, keep your pets contained or offsite during your holiday gatherings. It's safer for your pets, and it is safer for those who visit your home.

For more information about keeping your pets safe this holiday season, contact pet hospitals like Animal Emergency Clinic.