We’re officially in the holiday season! With all of the festivities, trimmings, and seasonal culinary treats, it’s a wonderful time of year of celebrating and gathering with loved ones. Make it a safe season for your furry friends! Here are our guidelines to help ensure that pets are protected and can enjoy the holidays as well.

#1: Foods to forget

Many pets enjoy the holidays because of the delicious scents wafting in the air, from the roasting Thanksgiving turkey to the Christmas ham. While we love our pets and want to spoil them, not all holiday treats are safe for cats and dogs. Here’s a list of foods to avoid:

  • High-fat foods, like gravy, ham, and buttery sides
  • Heavily spiced or seasoned foods, particularly those with onions or garlic
  • Meat bones that can splinter and break
  • Sugary sweets, such as candy, cookies, and other desserts, even those sweetened with xylitol

A morsel of turkey breast (minus the skin), a lick of plain mashed potatoes, and some fresh green beans can be a safe holiday dinner for your pet. When in doubt, stick to store-bought pet treats as a special gift.

#2: Decorations to ditch

Your guests may ooh and ahh over your sparkling decorations, but your pet isn’t interested unless those decorations can be mistaken as chew toys. To keep your home merry and bright, place decorations far out of reach of inquisitive pets. Lights can cause electrical burns, glass ornaments can shatter and slice paw pads, tinsel and ribbon can knot up a pet’s intestinal tract, and a variety of festive plants can be mildly irritating to potentially deadly. If you’re planning to add some bright blooms or greenery to your home this holiday season, check the toxicity potential on the ASPCA’s website.

#3: Parties to pass on

Your pet may appreciate you all decked out in your finest duds, but she won’t feel the same if you doll her up. Skip party outfits for your pet and consider declining party invites for her as well. While many pets are social butterflies around small groups of people they know, large crowds can be nerve-wracking. If you’re throwing a get-together in your home, set up a party room for your pet away from the group. Stock it with her favorite cozy bed, a new chew toy or catnip mouse, and a tasty, long-lasting treat. She will probably be happier at her party of one than ducking the many hands reaching out for a pat, loud music, and commotion found in the main party.

Questions or concerns about protecting your pet this holiday season? Contact us.