Taking Pet Hazards Out of the Holidays

The holidays are a special time of year to enjoy with loved ones, and that includes your pet! Unfortunately, some of the things you enjoy about the holidays should not be shared with pets. Crisp morning walks, decorations, and lots of attention from guests can all affect your pet’s well-being. Our animal hospital's holiday pet safety tips can help you plan a more pleasant holiday so your pet can enjoy the season as much as you.

Cold Weather Safety

As the weather grows colder, your pet may need a bit of extra care. Just like people, different pets have a different level of tolerance to the cold. Cold-weather breeds like Huskies are built for the cold, while short-haired breeds like Boxers may find the cold unpleasant. Know your pet’s tolerance level and respond to it with cold weather accommodations.

Dog dressed in a scarf and Santa hat: Holiday Pet Safety in Greenwood
  • Never leave your pet outdoors in the cold for long.
    Even long-haired breeds can get frostbite and hypothermia if left to the elements for too long.
  • Be aware of your pet's tolerance.
    If your pet is sensitive to the cold, buy them a doggie sweater or jacket that fits them properly. Booties may also help keep their feet warm and safe from salt and other deicers.
  • Always wipe your pet down after coming in from a walk.
    This removes salt and chemicals from their paws, legs, and belly, too, which can cause severe skin irritation.
Cat next to a Christmas tree: Holiday Pet Safety in Greenwood

Safety with Decorations

While it may seem like the indoors are much safer than the cold winter weather, there are actually a few holiday hazards inside! Different kinds of decorations can cause harm to curious pets who may want to play with it or nibble at it. Take these precautions to avoid dangerous encounters with decorations.

  • Hang the boughs of holly high.
    Holly, as well as other festive plants like mistletoe, lilies, and poinsettias, are toxic to pets if ingested. Lilies can even cause renal failure in cats, while the rest can induce vomiting and diarrhea, and even cardiovascular problems. Keep them all well out of reach, or better yet, invest in timeless (and harmless) artificial plants!
  • Avoid using tinsel, beads, or breakable ornaments.
    Tinsel and beads, being so shiny and dangly, are the cat’s meow. Cats can easily be pawing and biting at it, and then ingest a small piece which can cause serious gastrointestinal upset. Ornaments that are breakable could shatter when knocked over and cause harm to your pets' paw pads. If pieces of broken ornaments are ingested, it could cause damage to their mouths and intestines.
  • Secure your Christmas tree.
    Christmas trees are a great big bushy climbable toy to cats. Dogs, too, will undoubtedly want to investigate it and the water beneath it. Be sure to anchor your tree down to avoid it toppling over. Fishing line can also secure it to the ceiling to hold it up.

Quality Time with Guests

A house full of guests is a delight to some of us and a dread to others. Our pets can all feel differently, too! Keep these tips in mind to make any stay with you pleasant for both your guests and your pet.

  • Give your pet their space.
    Even the most social of pets will still need a bit of alone time when the hustle and bustle gets too overwhelming. Make sure they have a quiet place to retreat to.
  • Make guests aware of your pet before they arrive.
    Some of your guests may be uncomfortable around your furry family member, it can make your pet anxious, too. Tell your guests about your pet and be sure everyone is comfortable around them.
  •  Keep an eye on the exits.
    As you welcome and bid farewell to guests, a sneaky pet could slip out the exit due to all the commotion. Make sure your pet is not allowed by the door when guests are arriving and leaving.

Did any questions pop up for you while reading our tips? Please reach out and ask! We’ll be happy to give further guidance on having a safe and happy holiday!