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The holidays should be a fun time to create happy memories with your loved ones, a few safety precautions can ensure treasured memories instead of tragic ones.

Safety Precautions for the Holidays

Christmas Decorations

Ensure that your Christmas tree can't be tipped over or toppled by your pet(s). Cats are notorious for causing mischief with trees. For safety glass and more fragile ornaments should be hung near the top out of your pet(s) reach. Keep less fragile ornaments near the bottom. If you have a real Christmas tree make sure that your pet(s) don't have access to the water, as it often contains chemicals to help preserve the tree. Even if you do not mix chemicals in the water they can leak from the tree itself. Other plants like poinsettias can be poisonous and should be kept out of reach of your pet(s). Make sure all Christmas light strands are kept safely out of your pets reach, especially the chewers. Don't leave loose strands of lights dangling where a pet can walk into them and possibly entangle or strangle themselves. 


It's nice to have a warm fireplace waiting after coming in from the frigid outside temperatures and you're not the only one to think so. Make sure you have a screen in place to keep the fire and pets where they belong. Fires should not be left unattended at any time. Make sure all smoke detectors are on and working, please follow directions for proper location and use. There are stickers available for windows and doors that will notify firemen how many people and pets are in the home in case of fire. Have a plan in place before an emergency to increase the likely hood of a good outcome. Keep a leash or carrier in a predetermined location within easy reach in order to quickly gain control of your pet(s) as scared pets are likely to hide under or behind furniture. Ensure your safety first, you can't help your pet if you are also in danger. 


Food is a big one. There are all kinds of no no foods for animals to get into around Christmas. Chocolate is one of the most well known foods to keep away from animals, but did you know that artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol can be deadly to your pet(s). Xylitol can be found in many prepackaged foods such as cakes, cookies, and even peanut butter. Greasy and fatty foods can be extremely dangerous to your pet(s) causing pancreatitis which can become chronic or can even be lethal. These foods include gravy, turkey skin, and many other holiday favorites. Poultry bones are brittle and can shatter in your pet(s) mouth or digestive tract causing severe discomfort, require surgical removal, or even causing death. Keep your pet on a healthy diet and ensure a good holiday by keeping them on pet approved treats only. Lock all human food up out of your pet(s) reach or keep your pet(s) in a separate room or kennel while enjoying your own holiday meal. 

Pancreatitis is extremely dangerous for your pet and you should contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian if you believe your pet is suffering from this ailment. For more on Pancreatitis go here!


Make sure all costumes are an appropriate fit for your pet(s). Loose or tight costumes can cause sores as well as being a choking hazard. Costumes should not have loose parts that can be chewed or swallowed by your pet(s). As long as the costume is an appropriate fit and all collars, harnesses, and leashes can be used safely and effectively, we hope you and your pet have a good time. Don't forget to take lots of pictures!

Loss Prevention

During the holidays there are lots of people coming and going. Keep nervous pets or escapees locked in a separate room or kennel when you know people will be entering or leaving the house, especially people unfamiliar with your pet(s)' routine and needs. Get your pet(s) microchipped or make sure that your information is up to date on their microchip company's website. All pets should be outfitted with a collar and ID tags with a current phone number in case they become lost. If you don't have an ID tag make sure your pet has their rabies tag on their collar. Each rabies tag has its own identification number and the phone number of the veterinarian who administered the rabies vaccination. If your pet(s) are found your veterinarian can be contacted and using the identification number on the tag your veterinarian can look up your pet and notify you of its location. Make sure you have current photos of your pet(s) including any special markings. Notify Animal Control and Neighbors as soon as possible and request their help in finding your pet(s). Check out all possibilities in person as you are the most likely person to recognize your pet. They could look different in a photo after having been on their own for a time. 

Christmas Decorations
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