We all have traditions this time of year. Some of us bake (and eat) specific kinds of cookies, some attend religious services faithfully, and some simply enjoy the light brought into the darkest days of winter. Some traditions are sweet and sentimental like reading the same stories to your children each year while others are a little more spicy (Grandma got run over by a reindeer again this year). Whatever traditions you celebrate, one thing is sure – we want our families to have safe enjoyable holidays.

We do many things to make sure our people are safe from making sure no one eats food to which they’re allergic to making sure Grandma doesn’t drink too much eggnog. In the spirit of making holidays bright for every member of your family, it’s important to think about pet safety, too.

Celebrations Abound

The holiday hubbub can be lively and entertaining. Whether you’re hosting or attending holiday hullabaloos, if your pet is present, there are several things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to make sure they’re only eating food that’s safe for them. They shouldn’t eat:

These foods are toxic to pets. Keep in mind that any food outside your pet’s normal diet can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting. It’s best to keep them on their normal diet with a treat or two specifically for them as an extra. Be sure they have plenty of water to drink, too.

Holiday Decor

Part of the magic of the season is the décor. Lights, trees, holiday plants, ornaments, and shiny things all create a festive atmosphere, but they can be hazardous to your pets. A few reminders to keep them safe during the holidays are:

  • Anchor your Christmas tree to the wall so it doesn’t tip over easily
  • Keep your pet away from holiday plants (pine, poinsettia, mistletoe, holly, and amaryllis plants are all toxic to pets)
  • Make sure pets can’t reach candles and other open flames
  • Be aware of potential poisons like water additives for the Christmas tree, potpourri, and essential oils
  • Decorate with tinsel and other enticing decorations in areas where your pet can’t reach them (they can cause intestinal blockages)
  • Keep breakable or food-based ornaments at the top of your tree so your pet can’t ingest them

Too Much Of A Good Thing

If it’s your turn to host a holiday celebration, it’s important to make sure your guests are respectful of your pet, especially if the pet is anxious or is new to your home. Other things to keep in mind are:

  • Have a quiet room where your pet can decompress if they’re overstimulated
  • It’s okay to say no to someone’s request to bring their pet to your party
  • Remove food debris and trash promptly so your pet doesn’t have access to it
  • Be aware of where your pet is so they don’t escape outside
  • Make sure their microchip and licensing information is current

Minnesota Veterinary Hospital

Minnesota Veterinary Hospital is available to help those in the Shoreview, MN area keep their pets healthy and well through the holidays and beyond. Contact us for anything you might need.

Image credit: Pixabay