Christmas Safety Refresher: 6 Holiday Hazards for Pets

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Just a gentle reminder to help you spot holiday hazards for your pets at Christmas and New Years. Keep your fluffy friends safe in the midst of the festivities with these 5 safety tips for dogs and cats.

1. Watch for treats that are toxic to pets.

The holidays are the time of year we celebrate with amazing snacks, meals and dishes that we enjoy once a year.

We need to remember that chocolates and nuts are harmful for pets. Other human foods to put on the do-not-share list include garlic, onions, avocados and grapes.

Animal bones should be supervised carefully if you feed leftovers to your dog. SPCA recommends that you don’t feed leftovers, bones or turkey skin to dogs.

dog licking lips while looking at christmas cookies

Many Christmas goodies are sugarless now and contain Xylitol which is toxic to dogs. (Make sure they don’t eat sugarless gum.) It causes hypoglycemia in dogs which can lead to seizures and liver failure. My son’s dog would eat gum off the sidewalk when they went for a walk which caused him to have seizures until they figured out what the problem was.

It’s also wise to keep your trash in a tightly sealed container or hidden somewhere your pet can’t access.

2. Keep Pets Calm

dog sleeping in dog bed beside christmas tree

The hoopla of the holidays can be stressful for pets. Just imagine being at floor level with running children, food on laps, music blaring, fireworks flaring and all the commotion and laughter. Your pet may prefer to be in another room by themselves, or have their bed in the same area where they can see everyone but at a safe distance.

If you would like to try a calming supplement, Zesty Paws has soft chews for dogs with premium Sensoril® Ashwagandha and Suntheanine® to help support relaxation, calmness, and composure during times of stress. They have advanced calming supplements for dogs who get aggressive when stressed. (And hemp ora stix for them to chew on as well.)

  • Contains No wheat, Corn or Soy
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  • Included Components: 90 Chews
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3. Keep an Eye on Tree Trimmings and Poisonous Plants

cat eating poinsettia

Holiday classics like holly, lilies, amaryllis, poinsettias, both European mistletoe berries & American mistletoe, ivy and even fir needles from live Christmas trees and decorations can be toxic or cause animals to vomit if ingested. If ingestion does occur, contact a pet poison hotline or your veterinarian. If it’s after hours or in the event of an emergency, find your nearest 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic.

4. Keep Pets on Their Routine

Pets thrive on routines for feeding, potty breaks and exercise, so be aware of how your holiday plans may affect them. Try to keep their regular schedule as closely as possible. Consider asking for help if you’ll be away during regular feeding or outdoor break times.

5. Spend Time Together

Spending time with pets can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It eases their loneliness if you’ve been away more than usual.

Encourage their playfulness and take them for walks. Your fur baby is used to getting your attention and still needs it during the holidays. Hugs and snuggles from everyone else doesn’t replace his need for you.

A happy dog won’t rip open presents or dig a hole in your carpet. 😉

dog in santa hat near christmas tree holiday hazards for pets

6. Christmas Cracker & Fireworks Scare Most Pets

scared dog afraid hiding under bed thunder christmas cracker storm

Pets don’t know what the loud sound is, but most consider it a danger when they hear Christmas crackers or fireworks and New Years. Create a safe place for them such as a cozy bed, room or crate. Confining their movements has a calming effect on them. Also close windows and doors to minimize sound and escape routes.

Another option is an anti-anxiety wrap or coat. In a pinch, if you’re away from home, you can even create one from a scarf.

As discussed above, talk to your vet in advance about anti-anxiety supplements such as treats or chews that can help your pet relax. 

Give Them Gifts Too!

There’s nothing like the excitement of a dog when they get a new toy or treat. They don’t want to be left out in the gift giving.

The Best Dog Toy

According to Discover Magazine, the best toy this Christmas is a classic – the Kong Classic Dog Toy.

The KONG Classic red rubber treat dispensing puzzle  toy helps satisfy dogs’ instinctual needs while providing mental stimulation.

Fill it with kibble, treats, peanut butter or the Kong Marathon chicken flavored chew.

Comes different sizes for puppies and small to extreme X large dogs

The Best Plush Toy for Dogs

Kong is the best again! According to The Spruce Pets, Kong Cozy Marvin the Moose Plush Toy for Dogs is the best plush toy.

  • Minimal filling for minimal mess
  • Extra layer of material to increase strength
  • Squeak to help entice play
  • Not for chew sessions
  • Available in two sizes: S and M

I hope this gentle reminder of the safety rules to keep pets safe this holiday season was helpful. If you’d like to see more safety rules, see these articles.

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Christmas Safety Refresher: 6 Holiday Hazards for PetsChristmas Safety Refresher: 6 Holiday Hazards for Pets