Puppy celebrating Christmas.

This is truly the most wonderful time of the year, and yet it’s full of potential risks to pet safety. Pets not only endure routine disruptions and unannounced guests throughout the holiday season, but seasonal decor and toxic foods increase the odds of illness and injury. Fortunately, with extra care and consideration pet owners can prioritize pet safety during the holidays all while making happy memories. 

What to Expect 

The best way to approach holiday pet safety is to keep up the daily schedule. Be sure that your pet eats, exercises, and goes to the bathroom with the same regularity. Adding extra play or work out time to their daily routine can alleviate stress and anxiety, increase a calm demeanor, and reduce destructive behaviors. 

Spotting Signs of Trouble

Pet owners can promote holiday pet safety by recognizing even slight changes to a pet’s appearance or behavior. Any changes to appetite, water consumption, sleeping, socialization, and bathroom habits deserve close observation and possible intervention. Please reach out to us at the Animal Hospital of West Woodstock with any questions or concerns.

All That Glitters

Holiday decorations are responsible for various illnesses and injuries. Pet owners should be aware of possible chemicals, such as insecticides or pesticides, that can leach out of the Christmas tree and into the tree stand’s water. Cover the tree stand, and anchor the tree to the closest wall in case your pet is a climber or jumper. 

Other green hazards include holly, mistletoe, poinsettia, and lilies. If you do bring these plants into the home, be absolutely sure that your pet cannot access them. Better yet, opt for silk (or artificial) versions of these holiday plants. 

Glass, Potpourri, and Lights

Obvious features of the Christmas tree and decorative displays may be made out of glass. If these fall or get knocked to the ground, they could break and cause serious cuts or abrasions to a pet’s delicate paw pads. Affix ornaments that are not breakable, and be on the lookout for any ornaments that fall from the tree.

Christmas lights can create extra risks to a curious pet, especially one that likes to chew or bite. Not only an electrocution risk, string lights can lead to entanglement, choking, or GI obstruction if they are eaten. Battery operated items should not be accessible by a pet. Tinsel and other stringy decor should be used sparingly, if at all. 

Simmering potpourri or flickering candles certainly add to the seasonal mbiance, but please only light these on inaccessible surfaces. 

Pet-Proofing Your Home

It wouldn’t be a blog about the holidays without a simple reminder regarding ice melt and antifreeze. Pet poisonings spike this time of year, but are entirely preventable with proper storage, quick clean-up, training, and the use of pet-safe products. 

Similarly, please be on the lookout for any surreptitious snacking this holiday season. Chocolate, Xylitol, alcohol, caffeine, and many more toxic foods should never be left out for a pet to sneak a taste of.

If you have any questions about holiday pet safety, or concerns regarding your pet’s behavior or appearance, please give us a call at (770) 924-8847. From our family to yours, wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.