Dog outside of a carrying bag.

“I want to take my pet to the emergency hospital for the holidays!” said no one ever. Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital is here for you with all of our pet safety tips for the holidays to help keep things merry and bright and far away from the animal hospital. 

Holiday Pet Safety Risks

Decking the halls is a great holiday pastime, but the festivities this time of year hold some unique pet safety concerns. Some pet safety tips for the holidays you may not have considered are:

  • Electrical cords can be tempting but dangerous to chew—secure them from your pets
  • Decorative ribbons, string, and tinsel can pose foreign body hazards if ingested, so be sure to avoid or secure where necessary
  • Be sure that wrapped items awaiting delivery to their recipients don’t contain hazardous items that a curious pet might unwrap or ingest
  • Clear any holiday plants for pet safety before bringing into your home
  • Be sure live trees do not have any preservatives or fertilizer in their water source that pets might drink; stagnant water is also a concern
  • Be careful with lit candles and wax melts around pets

Bad Foods for My Pet

Our staff knows that one of the best parts of the holiday season is the eating. Your pet shouldn’t partake in all of the holiday indulgences that you do, though. Besides concerns of pet obesity and toxicity, certain foods are just not safe.

Potentially problematic holiday foods for pets include:

  • Chocolate (especially dark or baking chocolate)
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Fatty meats
  • Gravy
  • Butter
  • Onions and garlic in large amounts
  • Goodies artificially sweetened with xylitol
  • Unbaked yeast dough
  • Alcohol

While some of these foods can be downright toxic to your pet, others pose a risk for digestive upset or a severe condition called pancreatitis

Don’t share with your pet, but also remember that you need to keep those candy dishes, rolls waiting to rise, and table scraps secure. 

Entertaining and Pet Safety

The holiday season is often bustling with parties and get-togethers. Having people over can make for some wonderful memories, but for our pets, they can be a little stressful and even dangerous. 

When having people over, up your holiday pet safety game by:

  • Giving your pet a quiet area to retreat away from any commotion
  • Secure your guest’s coats and purses out of reach from curious pets who may find cigarettes, inhalers, medications, xylitol-containing gum, and other dangers to munch on
  • Keep the trash covered with a secure lid or behind a door
  • Warning guests not to feed your pet extra human food that could lead to digestive upset or pancreatitis
  • Making sure that your pet is wearing identification and that their microchip information is up to date just in case

Being aware of holiday pet safety risks can help ensure a wonderful season without any unexpected vet visits. Don’t worry, though, if you have concerns about your pet, we are just a phone call away!