Holiday Pet Care Safety Tips

The holidays are a time for fun, family and friends and for millions of people across the world, they wouldn't be the same without their favorite four-legged holiday pet. While it can be a joy to share the holidays with your favorite pet, there are some safety precautions that every pet-lover must keep in mind to get through the holidays as safely and happily as possible.

Skip the Tinsel

Pets love tinsel. There is something about that sparkly, fragile stuff that pets—especially of the feline persuasion—can't seem to get enough of. As nice as it is to look at, it can be dangerous for pets. Most tinsel sheds easily, and when eaten, can cause blockage in your pet's digestive tract. This can lead to obscenely high veterinary bills, or even worse, death.

No Human Food

Human food can be a favorite for many pets, but it has its dangers. Some food, like raw onions, can be deadly to pets. As the holidays are a time for the sharing of many a meal, it is important to take extra precautions to keep your pets away from the food. Buy a secure lid for your garbage can and don't leave half-eaten plates or open pots or pans unattended.

Watch the Tree

While lovely to behold, your Christmas tree can be a danger to your pet. If not anchored properly, an unstable Christmas tree has the potential to fall and cause injury or even death to your pet. Opt for faux Christmas trees if you have mischievous pets, as they are lighter than the real thing. Tie your Christmas tree to a hook in the ceiling or weigh it down with a tree stand or anchor to prevent tipping.

Forget the Mistletoe

Plants like holiday mistletoe, holly and holiday wreaths can be poisonous to pets. While it can be easy to get caught up in holiday tradition, it is never a good idea to do so at the potential risk of your pet's health. Hang mistletoe, holly and other holiday plants out of reach or opt for the faux version. You can have the same effect without having to worry about the health of your pet.

Create a Space

Your pets may not be as willing to ring in the holidays with your friends and family as you are. Many pets are social, and others are not. Make sure that you have a quiet, clean space for your furry friend to retire to when things get too hectic for him. Make sure there is a comfortable blanket or bed to curl up on and include plenty of fresh food and water for longer periods of time.

Light with Caution

Christmas lights are a necessary part of the holiday tradition for many people, but they can pose safety risks for naughty pets. Cats and dogs alike tend to chew on things, especially those things that are foreign to them. Make sure that pets are kept away from Christmas lights or skip them altogether to prevent electric shock.