7 Ways To Protect Your Pet From Holiday Hazards In Your Home

7 Ways To Protect Your Pet From Holiday Hazards In Your Home

There are so many things to enjoy about the Christmas season: seeing relatives and friends, putting up décor, and, of course, eating scrumptious foods.

7 Ways To Protect Your Pet From Holiday Hazards In Your Home

There are so many things to enjoy about the Christmas season: seeing relatives and friends, putting up décor, and, of course, eating scrumptious foods.

But there’s one person in your household who isn’t fully embracing the spirit of the season: it is no other than your pet.

The holidays offer dozens of new emerging threats for canines, felines, other furry family members – your pets. Your friends and family whom your pets are unfamiliar with might cause them fear and stress. The holiday decorations that are eye-pleasing to us might hurt the animals’ snouts and paws. Many Christmas snacks can be hazardous to domestic animals and upset their systems when ingested.

A service dog veterinarian named Dr. Leni Kaplan, who works at Cornell University Hospital for Animals, addressed with Healthline the seven major concerns for animals that arise during the festive season and ways we can prevent them from happening.

Holiday Decorations

Christmas decorations such as tinsel, lights and many more are dangerous to pets.

Injuries, including cuts and bleeding, may happen due to the metallic and glass accessories. These things may cause much more severe internal harm if swallowed, such as gastrointestinal blockage, which will almost certainly need surgery.

Lights and candles may cause burns and electrocution in your pet while also posing a major fire risk to your house and family.

Keep your pet from chewing or ingesting ornaments, holiday lights, electric wires, and ribbons to prevent gastrointestinal obstructions and electrocution. Consider confining your pet’s access to rooms with holiday decorations, especially when unsupervised. One easy option is to use baby gates,” said Kaplan.

High-Calorie Meals

Although an excess of rich meals and leftovers is not exactly harmful to animals, it might somehow cause weight gain and health complications in dogs. Turkey and ham are not suitable for your pets.

Spices and other flavouring agents, such as garlic and onions, make these goods dangerous for your pets and particularly to dogs.

Especially turkey skin, it may be harmful to canines and must not be given to them.

Do not share your food to avoid unnecessary weight gain in your pet. Have healthy snacks on hand to share including green beans, carrots, zucchini, or celery. Fatty and greasy foods can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and in some circumstances pancreatitis — a serious illness which may require hospitalization,” said Kaplan.

Pills And Prescriptions

With more guests coming in and out of the house, there is a higher likelihood that items such as prescription drugs may be left out where a pet can grab them.

Medication is toxic to animals and may be lethal if consumed. Ensure that guests’ medications are securely stored in their rooms, away from dogs and children’ eye levels.

This also extends to medicinal cannabis, especially if it’s in edible form, as your pets might find it more interesting.

Christmas Treats

Almost the majority of the famous sugary treats during the holiday are particularly harmful to dogs. Fruit cakes, nuts, and sugar-free chocolates; all health-conscious are risky at causing digestive problems to animals.

And before anything else, you should know that chocolate is highly toxic to dogs and cats. You have to 100% make sure that your pets’ paws are unreachable to where you store all the delectables.

Restrict access to holiday snacks and treats like chocolate, coffee, caffeine, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, and any candy or food item containing xylitol which is toxic to pets and potentially lethal at any time of the year,” said Kaplan.


Keep in mind that potpourri is toxic to animals. You might want your home to have a hint of sugar, spice and every great fragrance, but you should think of your pets too.

The added chemicals in essential oils used for liquid potpourri might irritate your pet’s senses.

Potpourris may trigger gastrointestinal distress if consumed, whether solid or liquid.

Christmas Houseplants And Flowers

You do not have to worry much when your pets play around with your magnificent Christmas tree, as it is generally fine. However, the pine needle can cause harm to the eye if the pets move around it carelessly.  Cats, specifically, should not be climbing the tree because it is highly potential for them to be exposed to injuries from the lights and ornaments.

Many festive houseplants and blossoms are also harmful to dogs.

Holly, known as the shrub used to ‘deck the halls’ and mistletoe, are both deadly to dogs and cats. Both of these may cause hallucinations, diarrhoea, and other serious consequences.

Examine all bouquets, as some flowers can be toxic to pets. Bear in mind, some visitors may bring bouquets that contain flowers such as lilies, which are toxic to cats,” said Kaplan. “Poinsettias are relatively safe and do not impose a serious hazard to pets, but do avoid access to, or ingestion of, mistletoe and holly.

Alcoholic Drinks

If you and your guests are drinking eggnog, spiced punch, or any other holiday drink that contains alcohol, it is automatically bad for your pets.

Vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of coordination, and impairment of the central nervous system are all symptoms of alcohol abuse.

If consumed in excessive quantities, it may be deadly.

Pets’ mental health is at risk, too

Consider your pet’s emotional wellness over the holidays and boarding them if their stress level is likely to spark anxiety while hosting visitors.

If your pet suffers from anxiety, your veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety medicine.

The holidays may be stressful for pets, so if you have a lot of visitors, consider creating a safe zone for your pet.

Make sure to stick to your pet’s normal routine as much as possible to enjoy a low-stress holiday season. Build in time for walks, play, and meals prior to the start of the holiday [celebrations]. Consider how and where to feed your pets — is their normal spot going to be off limits or over-crowded?” said Kaplan.

Being a responsible pet owner also includes knowing when to contact your veterinarian in the event of an emergency.

Contact a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet ingested any dangerous foods, items, or if they are not acting right. If traveling, be proactive and find out where and when you can seek veterinary care during the holidays in case you need it,” said Kaplan.

It all comes down to this:

The holidays may introduce new risks and stressors for animals of all kinds.

Make sure your pets don’t get into contact with any harmful decorations, including tinsel, lights, and potpourri.

Keep pet food out of the reach of pets during the holidays since they might be poisonous if consumed. Turkey and Thanksgiving leftovers, high in calories and fat, should not be fed to dogs.

It’s also important to consider your pet’s emotional well-being when you have company or visitors around. Be consistent with your pet’s exercise and food schedules. You may want to create a secluded area for your pet to unwind and recharge.


Source – Healthline

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