The holidays are here and you’re excited to deck the halls and enjoy those wonderful cookies. As you’re planning your weekends, responding to party invitations and putting up the tree, take the time to consider the safety of your pets. This may be the happiest time of year for some, but it’s also a dangerous time for your four-legged friends. Here are the top hazards for your pets you should watch out for now and in coming years.
Top five holiday hazards
Stick with Pet Food
There’s an incredible amount of food moving through your home this time of year, and you need to take steps to keep it away from your pet. The chocolate candy that you’ve bought for the stocking can be deadly to dogs with an allergy. The turkey and ham bones that your dog fished out of the trash can choke her and be fatal. Even just eating too many table scraps can lead to upset stomach and obesity. Do your pet a favor this year and keep them on their regular diet.
That tinsel that’s so shiny on the tree is also a glimmering temptation for your pet. They can be harmed by chewing on tree decorations if they swallow small items or get an electrical cord that’s plugged in. When putting up the decorations, keep everything on tables and away from your pets. Watch the items that go on the lower limbs of your tree, and take steps to keep the pets away from the tree if possible.
Christmas Candles and Fire Hazards
People love to burn candles this time of year, but curious pets can knock them over and start a fire. If you have dogs, put the candles on tables and counters where your pooch cannot reach them. If you have cats that go all over the house, consider putting candles inside hurricane globes so they won’t be knocked over.
Some animals, like puppies and cats, like to chew on house plants. You may not mind your cat dining on the Boston fern, but there are holiday plants that are poisonous and should be kept out of the house completely if you have a pet that likes to nibble on leaves. These include holly, poinsettias and mistletoe.
Even the leaves that are shed and fall off the plant can be dangerous, so just keeping them up on a ledge may not be enough. If you want to have these plants and have a pet in the house, keep them on a table where they’re out of reach, and monitor the plants regularly for shed leaves.
Lost and Confused
The holidays come with a lot of activity. People are coming in and out of the home, and you have a lot on your mind as you handle the shopping, decorating and extra cooking. Your pet could sneak out of the house and become lost. In the middle of an active party at home, your pet could become overwhelmed and run away.
When you’re entertaining and have a lot of activity in the home, monitor your pet. If he or she is becoming stressed, put them in a quiet room away from the activity. Check on them regularly, and monitor the doors to make sure your companion doesn’t sneak out and get lost.
This time of year can be exciting and fun for pets, but it can also be dangerous. Review this list of hazards to ensure that your home is ready for the coming festivities and safe for your pet. When you know what dangers to look for, you’ll be able to make your home safe and comfortable for the animals you love.
Alissa Young is a dog lover and a freelance writer. She usually writes about home improvement projects, but this time of year calls for some different topics.