Tis the season to be busy. The holidays are all about family, friends, fun and food – but it’s also a very busy time of the year. The holidays are fun for all including dogs, but dogs can get overexcited by guests and injured or poisoned by holiday treats and decorations. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, sometimes it’s easy to forget about things like holiday pet safety.
This post is brought to you in partnership with Rachael Ray Nutrish for pets.
A shimmering tree, brightly-wrapped gifts, delicious meals, and family gatherings make the holidays magical for you and your family. For your dog, however, these same joys can be hazardous. I want to share with you some important tips for holiday pet safety.
But first I want to share a picture of my babies.
My son was home for the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m not sure if he was more excited to spend time with me or our dogs, Winston and Lilly. One thing I do know for sure is that Winston and Lilly were very excited to see him. In fact, Winston has been a bit of a pill since his big brother left and is clearly missing him. I almost didn’t share this picture, because of all the mismatched blankets on the sofa – but then I figured it’s best to keep it real. If you have dogs, your furniture is probably covered in blankets too.
Things you can do to make the holidays safer for your pets:
Watch the holiday decorations! Place your Christmas tree in a corner, and make sure it’s secure. If you have a dog or cat that likes to jump on the tree, you can try placing aluminum foil, bells or anything else that creates noise on the tree’s bottom limbs to warn you of an impending tree disaster. We had to switch to an artificial tree a few years ago when we adopted Winston, since he thinks all trees are for peeing.
Also, keep electrical cords tucked away and other decorations out of reach. Most dogs are curious by nature, so they will want to check out any additions to the decor. Watch out for dangling objects that can be pulled down and cause injury. Tinsel especially needs to be hung higher on the tree or avoided all together.
For those buying a live Christmas trees this year, keep the area free and clear of pine needles. While they may not seem dangerous, the needles can puncture your pet’s intestines if ingested or get stuck in their paws. Don’t let your pet drink the tree water – it can make him or her sick.
Avoid giving your pets table scraps from holiday meals, and warn guests not to feed them table scraps. Winston and Lilly are master beggars, so we make sure to have some of their favorite treats on hand like Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones. They are perfectly happy getting one of those treats, instead of what’s on the table.
Holiday plants such as mistletoe and holly are toxic for pets, so keep them out of reach or out of the house all together. Poinsettia sap can irritate your pet’s eyes and tummy. If you’re not sure about a new plant, a quick online search will tell you if it’s hazardous to your pet.
Don’t forget rules, boundaries, and limitations just because it’s the holidays. Our Lilly doesn’t respond well to change, so the holiday season is a bit scary for her. It’s important to enforce the house rules during the holiday season, so that timid pets like Lilly feel secure.
Happy holidays to you and your pets!
Many thanks to our friends at Rachael Ray Nutrish for sponsoring this blog post about holiday pet safety.
I’m sure I didn’t think of it all. What are your tips for keeping pets safe during the holiday season?