The vets at East Valley Animal Hospital want you and your fur-family to enjoy a happy holiday season! The holidays can be a dangerous and stressful time for pets, but with a little planning, you can prevent accidents and make sure your pets stay safe. Today we’re sharing our advice on how to keep your pets free from harm by avoiding some of the most common holiday pet hazards.

Common Holiday Hazards for Dogs and Cats

For dogs, holiday hazards usually involve chewing on something they shouldn’t have their paws on, like some unattended chocolates or a string of electric lights. Do your best to pet-proof your decorations and keep people food out of reach.

With cats, it’s mainly the tree that you need to worry about—those shiny objects and the temptation to climb may be irresistible. Make sure that the tree is secure and can’t be tipped over easily, and use pet-friendly ornaments. 

Both dogs and cats can suffer from seasonal anxiety. If you have more people visiting or you’re away more often, your pet could feel frightened or neglected. Be sure to give them dedicated attention and extra reassurance when their schedules get disrupted. 

Five Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

#1—Prevent Poisoning: Keep People Food out of Reach

The number one risk to pets over the holidays is poisoning. From plants to people food, curious pets often feel inclined to nibble on something they shouldn’t. Watch out for chocolate, nuts, raisins, grapes, and sugar-free candy. Plants like mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias can also make pets sick when ingested, so steer clear for safety’s sake. Keep our phone number and the Animal Poison Control Center hotline number handy just in case.

#2—Use Pet-Friendly Decorations 

Holiday decorations like candles, tinsel, and twinkling string lights can all pose hazards to pets. If you have a curious pet that loves to chew, try a safer option like LED candles instead. Avoid decorations with hooks or small pieces, to prevent choking, as well as any glass ornaments that could shatter. If you’re decorating a live tree this year, don’t add any preservatives to the tree water—if your pet drinks the treated water, it might make them sick. 

#3—Prevent Choking

Ribbons and small pieces pose choking hazards, so be careful to keep wrappings and debris out of your pet’s reach when you’re opening gifts. The same goes for small toys—make sure that kids play LEGOs and any other toys with small pieces at the table where dogs can’t reach. Bones are dangerous as well—keep table scraps away from pets and don’t purchase bone or antler chew toys.

#4—Secure Your Pet When Visitors Come and Go

If you’re expecting visitors or deliveries, make sure your pet is safe in their crate or shut in another room before you open the door. When your pet is overly excited to greet your friends and family, they might become distracted and run out into the road. Other pets might bolt out the door because they feel anxious. Don’t risk losing a pet over the holidays! Keep your pets safe inside, and make sure their microchip information is current and up-to-date.

#5—Ease Separation Anxiety

While you’re out shopping or making visits of your own, your pets could start to feel bored or lonely. You might want to stream some entertaining videos for cats or calming music for dogs. Make sure to give your pet a little undivided attention when you get home. Offer reassurance with interactive play, treats, and extra cuddles. And don’t forget to leave room in your busy schedule to spend quality time together every day.

Emergency Vet in Gilbert

Our wish is for you and your pets to have a safe and happy holiday season, but common holiday pet hazards are common for a reason—sometimes, accidents happen. East Valley Animal Hospital is available for emergency and urgent care six days a week. If you have a pet emergency or an urgent need, please don’t hesitate to call us at 480-568-2462


Photo by Petrebels on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 12/07/2021.