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6 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe This Holiday Season

Cat plays with ornament - keep your pet safe this holiday season

The holiday season is a fun and festive time of year, but some of our favorite traditions can pose a danger to pets. For a pet fighting cancer, the risks for injury, illness, or complications can be greater. Follow these tips for a safe and happy holiday celebration for all.

  1. Anchor Christmas Trees to the Wall or Ceiling 

    Have you ever seen a cat or dog excitedly eye the Christmas tree? Cats love to climb trees and dog tails can easily knock over ornaments or the entire tree. Consider anchoring your tree to the wall and/or ceiling with fishing line to keep it upright. If you have a live tree, the water in the base can be particularly dangerous for thirsty pets due to bacteria and chemicals. Keep ornaments and lights away from lower branches to avoid any chewing of wires or strings. Always be sure to unplug your tree and lights when you leave, and keep a close eye on your pet around any decorations using electricity.

  2. Avoid Tinsel

    You’ve seen the cat videos, so you know cats love sparkly tinsel. Their eyes might light up when it’s around, but ingesting it can lead to an upset digestive tract and potential surgery to remove it. It’s best to skip the tinsel if you have a cat.

  3. Elevate Holiday Bouquets and Plants

    Did you know that mistletoe, holly, poinsettia, and lilies can be poisonous to animals? Make sure all plants are out of reach and buy artificial or pet-friendly bouquets when possible.

  4. Be Smart with Menorahs and Candles

    Keep open flames away from areas that pets can access, a wagging tail or curious cat can knock it over and possibly start a fire.

  5. Keep Table Food Out of Reach 

    Cookies, candies, cakes, and rich holiday fare can be harmful to pets if ingested. Fatty table scraps can cause pancreatitis and the yeast in dough can lead to bloating. The popular artificial sweetener, Xylitol, can be fatal even in small doses, as can chocolate. Unfortunately, all these treats are just as tempting to your dogs and cats as they are to you, so store them well away from your pet’s reach.

  6. Don’t Let Festivities Overstimulate Your Pet 

    Your pets might not be as excited to host family and friends as you are, and even social pets might need quiet time. Always provide pets access to a dimly lit room with water and a bed or crate to offer them a perfect retreat. Be sure to keep an eye on exits as well. Guests might not be as watchful as you are about safeguarding escape routes. Make sure all your pets are microchipped and have an up-to-date ID tag on their collar.

We hope that these tips help you and your pet have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season.

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