Tips for a Safe Howl-iday Season

dog-catAlright friends, the holiday season is officially upon us. In fact, we’re right in the thick of it now that Thanksgiving’s passed, and we couldn’t be happier! We’ve been fa-la-la-ing all around our houses and fervently trying to get our shopping done before the major crowds hit.

Now, when it comes to decorating the house we quite literally deck the halls – but not without considering our furry family members. If you think about it, our pets spend more time at home with the decorations than we do, so it’s important to make sure they can safely coexist together. Here are a couple of tips we’ve acquired over the years when it comes to pets and holiday safety.

Nix the tinsel – While we personally don’t love the stuff, pets might. To them (especially cats), tinsel is a glittery, dangling toy just waiting to be batted down and chewed on. Too much tinsel time can mean an obstructed digestive tract, which could potentially require surgery. Eliminate the worry and opt for a tinsel-less tree.

Wires, Wires, Wires – This may be the most important tip to be aware of. Always be sure to unplug the tree when your family isn’t enjoying the lights, as an accidental chomp on a live wire could potentially be fatal. This goes for other decorations that require a plug, too. It’s best to get the family in the habit of unplugging things once they leave the room.

Watch out for that tree! – Around the holidays, this warning doesn’t just apply to George of the Jungle. It’s imperative to make sure your tree is adequately anchored in its stand, as it would be pretty disastrous if it fell while Fido innocently sniffed the new gifts (not to mention cats’ love of perching.) Not only would it be a major mess, but pets can get considerably hurt if this happens.

Feasting – By now you’re well aware of the general rules when it comes to what pets can’t have: chocolate, poultry bones, certain herbs, onions, and raisins (to name a few), but that won’t stop friends from gifting you chocolate or other treats. If you receive a gift from a friend that you want to save until the actual holiday, it’s wise to ask if the gift is edible so you know to keep it out of pets’ reach, rather than under the tree.

Guests – Having guests over? Giving them a brief run down on being aware of your pets can’t hurt. Make sure any medications they may have are safely stowed out of pets’ reach; be sure guests don’t treat pets without getting permission; and give pets their own room to decompress, if necessary, complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle down.

Check out some other safety tips in our learning center!

Keep in mind that all of these pet precautions can be significantly decreased with a little awareness. You know your pet better than anyone, so catering to their curiosities and keeping an eye on them is truly the key to making sure everyone enjoys the holidays. From the ‘paw’-tom of our hearts, we hope your howlidays are filled with food, fun, and fur with the ones you love!

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