Christmas and the New Year are a time to spend with loved ones and celebrate with friends and family. It’s a busy time of year with lots of fun, food, and festivities. But when you have pets it’s important to make sure that you take some simple steps to make sure everyone enjoys the holiday season.
To help you keep your pets safe we’ve put together a safety guide for the holidays to keep your furry friends safe and happy throughout Christmas and the New Year.
Pet Safety Tips for The Holidays
Whether you have decided to get a fake or a real tree we recommend you place the tree in a corner of the home away from your pets. If you place your tree in a high trafficked area of the house I can guarantee you will spend all Christmas picking up decorations your pets have knocked off. Also, make sure the tree is secure and isn’t going to be knocked over easily by any fast moving pets.
If you have a real tree be mindful of clearing up pine needles on a regular basis. If they get stuck in your pet’s paws they will hurt, and if they ingest them they could get very sick.
And don’t forget those presents under the tree! If you have any food items in them make sure they are out of reach as your dog will sniff them out!
Ornaments are irresistible to a lot of pets. The sparkle, the movement, and the shape mean that they are fascinated by them. It’s therefore usually a good idea to place decorations higher up on the tree where they can’t reach them. Especially if you have a younger cat or dog.
Dogs will chew decorations so if you are thinking of putting chocolate or candy decorations on your tree then definitely make sure these are out of reach. As we have talked about before chocolate isn’t safe for dogs.
With extra decorations around the house there are going to be a lot more wires than normal. Cats and dogs love to chew wires so make sure you fasten them away out of the reach of your pets.
Also, don’t forget to secure any outside wires or cables.
Food and Sweets
Dogs especially will be on the hunt for extra treats this time of year. If your dogs are anything like mine they can smell chocolate being opened a mile away.
With all the tins of chocolates in the house make sure you keep them out of reach. It’s easy to set them down at your side and forget about them.
Also, be mindful of where you are leaving sweet alcoholic drinks over the party season. Not only can dogs and cats knock drinks over they may also take a drink, which would make them very sick.
Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are in most houses over the holiday season. These plants are very poisonous to animals so remember to keep them out of reach.
And remember cats can jump up onto counters, so it’s best to keep them in rooms that they won’t have access to.
Additional Reading: Plants That Are Dangerous To Pets
Candles are in our homes all year round, not just at Christmas. But when your house is busy, and people are coming and going, it can be easy to forget to blow out candles when you leave the house.
Candles can be easily knocked over by your pets causing damage to them or your home.
Make sure you place candles in holders and on a flat, safe surface.
When you are wrapping presents you can easily find yourself with a helper or 2! I know my 2 dogs like to ‘assist’ with every job I need to do.
It’s important thought to keep an eye on sellotape, ribbon, string and anything else that they could pick up and chew and maybe choke on. Scissors might look like a great chew toy for them, but can cause a lot of damage to a dog.
We all know cat’s love to play with string or ribbon, but it’s important that you supervise this and don’t leave it for them to choke on.
Most animals become anxious around loud noises. This could be from fireworks being set off or just the additional noise of a lot of visitors calling to the house.
Often, it’s a good idea to set them up with a quiet space away from the main part of the house if you are expecting a lot of people to visit.
Additional Reading: How to Calm an Anxious Dog
If you have decided to dress your cat or dog up over Christmas then please be aware of any lose items on the outfit that they could choke on.
A costume shouldn’t be left on your pets when they are not supervised, and if they show any sign of discomfort then remove the clothing straight away. Not all pets will enjoy being dressed up.
Tips for Guests Staying over the Holidays
If you have guest visiting over the holiday’s it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what they are feeding your pets. A well-intentioned relative giving your dog a sandwich or piece of cake might results in your dog getting sick.
It’s often best to ask visitors not to feed your pets any food at all to avoid them accidently feeding them something that makes them very ill.
You might be used to checking the dog/cat is in the kitchen before you open the front door, but your guests won’t be. Make sure you have something in place to make sure your pets don’t get out. If your cat is used to be indoors all the time, then it would be very scary for them to be let out.
Child baby gates can be useful for dogs, just be aware that cats can often slip through the gaps in the gates, so you may need to cover the gate to stop them.
We all know that cats and dogs love to get into things that don’t belong to them. And your guest’s luggage is something they will love to explore.
While you may put things (like medication) out of reach it’s important to make sure that your guest do too, or at least keep the guest room door locked.
Will Your Pets Be Safe During the Holidays?
By keeping a watchful eye on your pets and the dangers in the home then you and your furry friends will have a magical Christmas and New Year.