The holiday season has arrived and with COVID-19 keeping us local, most of us will be celebrating with our immediate families, and, fortunately, that means celebrating with our pets! Keep the following tips in mind for a safe festive season for our furry family members.

Christmas Trees and Holiday Decor Dangers

While cats in Christmas Trees make for great photo ops, they also make for a dangerous mess. Please be sure to secure your tree so that it can’t easily tip over. It’s also essential to make sure that your pets aren’t able to drink from the Christmas Tree water as it can be a source of both toxic fertilizer and harmful bacteria.
Use care with lighted candles, making sure that they are well out of reach.

Electronic decorations, both wired and battery-operated, can shock or burn to an overly inquisitive pet.

Tinsel and other string-like items are particularly intriguing to cats but can cause severe problems if swallowed. Consider alternative decorations wherever possible.

Many festive holiday plants, such as mistletoe, holly, and poinsettia, are toxic to cats and dogs. Best to keep them out of reach or, better yet, skip them altogether.

Holiday Food Hazards

Chocolate and artificial sweeteners are a big no-no for pets, with dark chocolate and xylitol being particularly dangerous. Make sure any sweet stocking stuffers are well out of each.

Fatty foods can put your pet at risk for pancreatitis, which can be quite painful and potentially life-threatening. Skip the decadent high-fat foods in favor of lean meats or simple, steamed veggies. Better yet, offer a special pet-safe treat like a dental chew or a new catnip stuffed toy!

Changes to Routine

Even with a quieter, family-focused Holiday season, our pets may still experience changes in routine. A brief reprieve in school or work, even if conducted virtually, will result in more human interaction for your pet. Try to stick to your pet’s regular schedule as much as possible to ease any transitions in your household routine.