iStock_000030400536_LargeWith so many things competing for the top slot on our holiday to-do lists, we hope that  ensuring your pet’s safety throughout the chaos of the season is one of them. Without a doubt, your pet will be delighted with all the new smells (and tastes) that abound during the month of December; however, you can protect your pet from some pretty dangerous items that are hiding in plain sight.

We at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital encourage you to take an active role when it comes to holiday pet safety, in hopes that your vigilance may thwart any potential risks before they arise.

Good Holiday Health

Your home is where your heart is and, during the holidays, it may be decked out with garlands, presents, and lights. Please conduct your own assessment of what might tantalize your pet and remove items that could poison, entangle, or endanger them. The following list is intended to help you get started:

The Tree Many serious injuries can result from an unstable tree and a curious pet. Anchor your tree to the wall or ceiling. Keep your tree’s water source covered so your pet doesn’t inadvertently take a toxic drink. Christmas trees may drain pesticides, preservatives, or fire retardant. Sweep up falling pine needles to keep out of your pet’s mouth and digestive system.

Ornaments – Glass or otherwise fragile ornaments can be awfully tempting to pets but, if broken, can slice skin, paws, or the digestive system. Keep ornaments up high and out of reach, or not at all.

Plants We understand the beauty of a doorway or bannister draped in green garland but it may serve you better to invest in artificial greenery. Certain decorative plants can be highly toxic for pets and, if ingested, can result in serious gastrointestinal distress. Do not display:

  • Poinsettia
  • Mistletoe
  • Holly
  • Lily

DecorationsMost pets, when laying their eyes upon holiday decor, just have to have it. To avoid serious complications resulting from accidental ingestion or exposure, please eliminate the following:

  • Tinsel
  • Ribbon
  • Gift Wrap
  • Snow Globes
  • Candles

Lights – The strings wrapped around your tree could become electric shock risks if your pet nibbles on the cords or wires. If dragging on the floor or on low boughs of your tree, enclose them in tubing to keep them off-limits.

Joy To The World (Your Pet Is Safe)

If you are hosting guests at your home, make sure they know the rules about not feeding your pet (no chocolate, Xylitol, grapes,raisins, currants, fatty foods) and honor your pet’s need for space by creating a room just for them. This will keep them safe – and sane – by keeping them away from dangerous food or the door (it’s very common for pets to accidentally escape during the holidays). Please call us immediately if you suspect your pet got into something dangerous.

Try your best to keep your pet on his or her regular daily schedule of mealtime, bathroom breaks, and snuggle time. If you think that your pet might not be able to handle upsets in routine, call us to see if we can serve your pet’s boarding needs.

A Jolly Good Time

We all enjoy the spirit of the holidays. Including your pet in the festivities is wonderful way to deepen your bond, provided the aforementioned items are taken care of. Doing your part now can allay the possible dangers inherent in holiday decorations.

Please let us know if you have any questions at all. Happy Holidays from Volunteer Veterinary Hospital!