The holidays bring a rush of excitement as seasons change and you begin to make plans for celebrations and festivities. Unfortunately, this time of year also brings an increase in hazards for pets.

Here are a few ways to keep pets happy and healthy this holiday season.

[Don’t] Let Them Eat Cake

There’s nothing better than feasting and gathering around the table with friends and family, but be sure to keep pets away from foods that could potentially cause harm. Always monitor food tables, store leftovers after meals and take out the trash to avoid accidental pet toxicity. Here are a few foods to keep out of reach from your furry family members.

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes / Raisins (Sorry, Charlie. No fruitcake for you.)
  • Alcohol
  • Poultry bones
  • Candy / Sweets with artificial sweeteners
  • Onions & Garlic
  • Raw bread dough

Beware of Poisonous Plants

There are a number of plants that are toxic to pets, and many of them often make an appearance during the holidays, including poinsettias, lilies, amaryllis and more. If you plan to use any of these festive plants in your decorating this year, be sure they are out of reach of pets or in a separate area to avoid possible toxic exposure with your animals. The ASPCA has compiled an extensive list of plants that have been reported as having systemic effects on animals and/or intense effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Check out the ASPCA list linked below to stay informed.

Poisonous Plants List

Avoid Choking Hazards

Be sure your pet does not have access to choking hazards such as candy wrappers, turkey bones, tinsel, ribbon, ornaments, wrapping paper, toothpicks and small toys. Preparing a crate or secure area for pets during festivities can help keep them safe. Be sure to thoroughly clean up areas after parties or get-togethers so pets don’t have a chance to find small objects that they could ingest.

Be Cautious of Cords

Holiday decorations are a fun way to get in the holiday spirit, but can also pose a threat to pets. If chewed, live electrical cords can cause burns in or around a pet’s mouth, difficulty breathing, seizures, and cardiac arrest. To avoid issues, unplug lights and decor when not in use and secure them out of reach of pets.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

The holidays bring new smells, loud noises, bright lights and large crowds – all of which can be very overwhelming for pets. Help reduce stress and anxiety by preparing a comfortable, quiet place that they can retreat to and feel safe. Despite the chaos, be sure to tend to pets and make sure they have access to adequate time outside, fresh water, food and comforting toys.

Have Other Tips to Share?

What other ways do you recommend to keep pets safe during the holidays? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!