Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays

Published by VCA Inc. in Cats, Dogs, Holidays, Pets, Tips December 20, 2016

Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays
By: Taylor Seely

Who doesn’t love the holidays? There’s a special magic in the air and baked goods nearly everywhere you go. But as great as the holidays are, there are certain things to be wary of when it comes to your pet companions.

Decorating the home, walking the icy roads outside and picking out a tree can all be potential threats to the health and well-being of your animals. This holiday season, prepare to keep your furry friends safe with the following tips.

8 Pet Safety Tips

  1. Purchase booties to protect your pet’s paws if you like to walk during the winter. Walking on snow is unenjoyable for pets, and it can damage their paw pads. When little bits of snow lodge between the paws, the salt causes tears in the skin and pain for your pet. If you can’t purchase booties just yet, be sure to dry your pet with a towel after every walk. Winter weather can also take its toll on cat’s shiny coats. Check this story to find out if your cat’s coat is healthy.
  1. Be selective with tree ornaments, especially if you have a cat in the house. Cats are drawn to sparkly strings and tinsels and will likely try to climb their way up the tree to catch it. For dogs, hang smaller ornaments toward the top of the tree to prevent any chance of a choking hazard. Finally, be sure to introduce your pet to the tree and train it to stay away from the cord. If you find your pet is drawn to the tree, then build a safety wall around it with a pet fense or simply a row of chairs when you are away from home.

pet safety tips, new year kitten with christmas-tree decorations

  1. Consider purchasing a new toy to distract your pet from the fun new decorations in the house. Occupy your pets for an extended period of time with chew toys or items like a KONG. Stuff yummy treats inside and watch them enjoy!
  1. Purchase an artificial holiday tree if your pet is prone to allergic reactions. Or at the very least, research where your tree comes from. A 2011 study conducted at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse found 53 types of molds on just 26 conifer tree samples. These mold spores are small and can pass through filters to access the lungs and cause asthma attacks. To play it safe, hose down your tree outdoors and let it air-dry before bringing it into the home.
  1. Keep lit candles in safe places where pets cannot access them. If your pet can jump or crawl to up-high spaces, then you might want to purchase battery-operated LED light candles to keep your pet safe from fire or hot wax.
  1. Practice extra caution with holiday treats. Many people bake breads, cookies and other delicious foods during the holiday season. pet safety tips, Misbehave pets eating and drinking Santa's snack.Don’t forget your pet loves treats as much as you! Keep the goodies covered and inaccessible. Spread the holiday cheer and add a pet recipe into the mix during your baking day this season. You can find plenty of fun holiday pet recipes online, and your pet will surely thank you!
  1. Be prepared for a worst case scenario and look up your nearest animal hospital. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our animals get ahold of something dangerous or just simply get sick. To combat this, be prepared and have the number and location of your local vet handy. The last thing you want is to Google where to go or what to do during an emergency.
  1. Pass the holiday cheer and give back to pets less fortunate than yours. Don’t forget that while you and your furry friend are cuddling near the fire this season, there are plenty of other pets with no homes and inadequate food supplies or veterinary care. Check out this story on pet food drives and learn how to give back this season.