How to Protect Your Pets During the Holidays

Holiday festivities can bring a lot of unusual items into our homes, from the tinsel on the tree to the holly you arranged in a vase to the chocolate candies left out for visitors. While these decorations and treats are enjoyed by family and friends, they are not welcomed by your pets. They may, in fact, present serious dangers.

Here are a few important tips from leading veterinarians for keeping your pets safe during this holiday season.


Give them their space

A noisy house full of people may epitomize the season for people, but it can be overwhelming for many pets, triggering nervous behaviors such as barking or nipping. If your furry friend is the anxious type, make sure they have a quiet, safe space they can go to, such as a bedroom or mudroom outfitted with their favorite bed or blanked. Or consider sending them to a friend's house during any big parties you may be hosting. 


Protect them from toxic foods

While it may be okay to slip your pet a holiday treat like a piece of cheese or a bite of turkey, be sure to keep them away from foods that are known to be toxic, including: Anything that contains grapes, raisins or currants; garlic and onions; anything that says "sugar free," such as gum, candy or baked goods; certain nuts, such as macadamia nuts, black walnuts, old or moldy nuts, raw cashews and pistachios.


Do a thorough clean-up

Deal with the aftermath of a holiday party as soon as it's over. Get rid of the garbage and clean up any bits of decoration on the floor. Also pick up small toys that a pet could easily ingest.


Keep an eye on plants

If you have a Christmas tree, you may want to forgo the tinsel. While it adds a pretty glimmer to your tree, it's very dangerous when ingested by pets, as is pine sap. Keep any of the following poisonous plants well out of reach of pets as well: poinsettias, holly, mistletoe and amaryllis.

Remember to set aside some one-on-one time with your pet during this busy season. A cuddle on the couch with your kitty, or a brisk walk with your pooch are likely to do wonders for both of you.


Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2023. All rights reserved.

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