Keep Your Pet Safe This Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us and you’ve got your to-do list piled high. With so many things to remember and do, it can be easy to overlook your pet. Keeping your pet safe and happy during the holidays can be trying with new guests, lots of food, and maybe even travel plans for you and your pooch or kitty.

Regardless of what your plans are this holiday season, you can keep your pet safe with these easy tips that’ll keep everyone happy this holiday!

Beware of Decorations
Many people enjoy decorating their homes for the holidays. However, holiday decorations can also cause injury to pets. Cats love shiny things that move, making ornaments and tree tinsel problematic. If accidentally ingested, you could be spending this Christmas with an emergency Nashville animal hospital. Keep tinsel out of the house and ensure cats don’t have the chance to ingest any ornaments.

In addition to the tree, plants such as mistletoe and holly can cause stomach problems and even heart problems for dogs and cats. Watch out for candles as well—never leave a burning candle unattended, especially when your pet is around!

Watch the Food
Human food is not ok for pets. “The holiday season is a common time of the year for pets to be fed human foods or pets get in the garbage and mistakenly eat foods that are toxic to them,” explains Dr. Judy Torchia of Nippers Corner Pet Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“The most common foods toxic to dogs and cats during the holidays include chocolate, alcohol, chicken or turkey bones, unbaked bread dough, foods containing xylitol (sugar free gum or dessert), macadamia nuts, or overindulgence in foods that are high in fats. Foods such as these have very negative effects on pets including intestinal obstruction, pancreatitis, liver damage, kidney damage, or overdose resulting in death.”

“During the holidays, it’s best to keep the human foods away from pets to prevent their consumption of something toxic or harmful. If you suspect that your pet has ingested any of the above, please contact your veterinarian,” Dr. Torchia says.

Any leftover food should be put away, thrown away safely, or donated. Regardless of what you do with your food, all of it should be kept in check and away from the dog or cat. The holidays can be a time to indulge, but keep your pet safe from harm but sticking to their normal food!

Plan Safe Surprises
Who’s been a good kitty? Pick safe toys for cats and dogs this holiday season. Small toys that cats can swallow can get lodged in their digestive tract—your kitty may even need surgery. Have a new rescue pooch this year? Check out these five tips for bringing home your adopted dog. You can pick an indestructible Kong, healthy treats, or sturdy bones for your dog this Christmas.

Ring in the New Year Quietly
No one’s saying you have to be quiet as a mouse, but beware of fireworks or poppers. Animals have sensitive ears and may be wary of the festivities. If you’ll be away from home on New Year’s Eve, you may consider hiring a pet sitter or keeping your pet crated. Here are some other tips for how to calm down your pooch from the neighborhood noise on this celebratory night!

Keeping your pet safe doesn’t have to be hard work—just by following easy tips can help. Remember that some decorations are hazardous for pets even though they may seem fine for people. Never feed your pet human leftovers, especially sweets like chocolate or cooked bones. Ask your Nashville veterinarian for toy recommendations for Christmas gifts, and as always, keep your pet safe on New Year’s Eve.

Happy Holidays!

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