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How to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Holiday Season

December 15 2015

Like many families, you’re probably planning on including your furry friends in the holiday cheer this year. Do so by all means, but make sure your pet stays safe. Below, your McHenry, IL vet tells you how to keep your animal companion safe from harm during the holidays.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

?For many pets, the holidays can be a stressful time, especially if guests are coming to your home to celebrate. It’s easy for pets—especially those with shy, introverted dispositions—to become overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle. To fix this, set up a pet “safe zone” in a quiet back room well before the big day. Include a pet bed, a soft blanket, and a few toys. Lead your pet here if you see them exhibiting signs of anxiety.

Beware of Toxic Foods

The holidays are a time full of food, but much of it should be kept far out of pets’ reach. The list of potentially toxic human foods for pets includes onions, grapes, raisins, chives, garlic, chocolate, candy, gum, certain nuts, caffeine, salt, fatty items, and more. Bones are also dangerous, as they can splinter apart into shards that can cut a pet’s mouth or puncture the intestinal lining if swallowed. Keep your pet out of the kitchen during meal preparation and mealtime.

Keep an Eye on Alcohol

Will your holiday celebrations include alcoholic beverages? Make sure your pet doesn’t have the chance to imbibe, as alcohol can poison pets very easily. It turns out that alcohol affects pets the same way it affects humans! Thanks to pets’ smaller size and very low tolerance, though, alcohol poisoning occurs quite quickly. Keep a close eye on all liquor, beer, wine, and champagne. There’s even a chance that foods cooked with alcohol (glazes, soaked pastry items, etc.) can prove harmful.

Decoration Dangers

Don’t let your pet play with shiny tinsel or tree ornaments, however fun it may seem. These items can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Also ensure that your pet doesn’t nibble on poinsettias, mistletoe, or holly—poinsettias, while not toxic per say, secrete a milky sap that can irritate pets’ mouths and stomachs, and mistletoe and holly have been known to produce toxic reactions in pets who eat them.

Would you like even more tips for keeping your pet safe during the holidays? Call your local McHenry, IL veterinary clinic today. Happy Holidays!