cat and dog standing around Christmas lights

In the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holiday season, it’s easy to overlook the very real dangers that exist for our furry companions. Holiday pet safety may not be in the forefront of our minds as we busily shop and prepare, but it should be. 

Your Godspeed Animal Care family wants you and your pet to have the best holiday season possible, centered around holiday pet safety, of course!

Decorate Safely

Many pets find holiday decorations irresistible, and it’s not uncommon for garland, Christmas trees, and toxic holiday plants (holly, poinsettia, and mistletoe for starters) to be nibbled on. Christmas trees pose additional dangers for pets that love to climb, and the water underneath live trees is often polluted with preservatives and fire retardants that are sprayed on the trees. For safety, anchor your tree to the wall or gate it off to keep pets from sampling the water.

Other holiday decor dangers include:

  • Strings of electric lights – Pose a risk of choking or electric shock if chewed on.
  • Glass or breakable plastic ornaments – Can cause lacerations to the face, paws, or inside the mouth.
  • Lit candles – Dangers include singed fur at best, house fire at worst.
  • Ribbon and tinsel – Can cause dangerous intestinal obstruction if ingested.
  • Ornament hooks – May get caught inside the mouth or in the corners of the eyes.

Watch What they Eat (or Steal!)

Unfortunately, many of the traditional holiday foods we enjoy each year can pose a risk to our pets. 

  • Chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, Xylitol (an artificial sweetener often found in sugar free goods), alcohol, and macadamia nuts are all toxic to pets.
  • Fatty foods such as turkey drippings, ham, brisket, and gravy can cause upset tummies or, even worse, a dangerous inflammatory condition known as pancreatitis.
  • Put leftovers away immediately and keep trash bins covered to prevent scrounging. Ask guests not to feed table scraps to your pet.

Safety and Fun go Hand-in-Hand

Although holiday pet safety is important, that doesn’t mean you can’t include your pet in the joys of the season. There are plenty of fun, pet-friendly things you can do together, such as take holiday photos, go for a snowy hike, and bake holiday-themed pet treats. Get creative!

As always, we are here for you! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have regarding your pet. Have a wonderful holiday season!