Holiday Pet Safety: 6 Ways To Make Sure Furry Friends Have Fun Too!

Fun and pet-safe? The holidays can be a good time for all of your family members with some holiday pet safety considerations. 

Holiday pet safety is not generally the first thing your think of during the winter season. There's no denying that the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year, especially for social events. Whether it's dinner with family, a get-together with friends, or a neighborhood potluck, there's no shortage of celebrations to attend during the holiday weekends. With great food and company, get-togethers can be a blast, but for your furry friends, they can be a bit overwhelming.

That is why it's important that you keep these six holiday pet safety tips in mind to ensure that your four-legged friends stay safe and relaxed through all the weekend celebrations.

1. Avoid A Holiday Escape

There's a good chance that guests will be coming and going through the weekend, which means there are plenty of opportunities for your pet to slip out the door.

To avoid an unexpected escape, do your best to keep your pet away from the door unless they are being supervised. A simple way to do this is to keep them secured in a different room or on a leash with you while guests arrive or Also make. Make sure your dog is wearing their collar with the proper identification tags if they do get out. Another way to keep your holiday pet safe, is to update their microchip information in case they get out too!

2. No Food for Pets

There will be no shortage of food and drinks available during holiday dinners and barbecues, but that doesn't mean you should share it with your pets. Many of the ingredients used in everyday cooking and baking, such as onion, garlic, and chocolate, can be highly toxic to your pet, even life-threatening. We all know that cooked turkey bones can splinter and cause intestinal blockage, inflammation, and abdominal pain which may lead to an emergency clinic that will ruin everyone's evening.

Even if the food served is not toxic to your pet, eating it may lead to digestive distress and issues in the digestive tract, and in the long run, fatty foods can cause weight gain and bloating. Due to this, all guests must know that the food served is strictly for humans - no sharing table scraps with pets! A holiday pet safety must!

3. Give Your Pet a Safe Space of Their Own

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When you're in the thick of the feast, it can be nice to have a quiet space you can slip away to for a few moments of peace. You're not the only one who appreciates a quiet place, though. Your pets do as well!

If your pet will be joining the winter holiday celebrations, make sure that they have a quiet area where they can go if they begin to feel overwhelmed. Holiday parties can be a lot for a pet to take in, especially if it is their first one. This quiet room should also include freshwater, toys, and a comfortable bed.

4. Keep Holiday Foods out of Reach

Whether your holiday meal is served buffet style or extras are simply left in the kitchen, make sure that people food is supervised or out of reach of pets. While your holiday foods may seem delicious, many of them can be quite hazardous and wreck havoac on your pet's intestines.  Good pet health depends on your dog or cat not getting into food that may have ingredients like the sweetener xylitol and chocolate in them. Both of these foods can cause stomach upset and have hight levels of toxicity even in small amounts. Turkey and scraps from the table can cause kidney failure and pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts, which are popular during the holiday season, can be toxic as well. It's best to avoid ingestion of any of these types of foods plus things like onions, grapes, and baked goods.

Even once the meals have been eaten, plates left on surfaces can be easily accessed by pets.A great way to avoid this situation is to have a dedicated person keeping an eye out and cleaning any plates left around the house.

5. Holiday Pet-Safe Decorations

One of the best parts of the holiday season, besides all of the tasty food, is the holiday decorations. But, they pose a large holiday pet safety threat for dogs and cats alike. Christmas trees are notorious for being knocked over by curious kitties and exhuberiant puppies. Try to keep your tree secure with a fishing line and keep glass ornaments up off the ground. Breakable ornaments can injure your pets paws or worse if ingested. Also, make sure your pet cannot get to the tree water, especially if your put additives or fertilizers in to make your tree last longer. If any pine needles are dropped, be sure to pick them up before your pet does. The sharp ends of the needles can puncture the inside of your pets intestines if swallowed.

Pets are a bit like toddlers, they have a tendancy to play with things that are new, shiny, and can harm them. Holiday lights are fit all of the above and are very dangerous. Pets can get tangled up in the lights, and if they chew on the lights or electrical cords, they are at risk of an electric shock.

Lit candles are another holiday hazard. Pets can get burns from the flame or if they knock a candle over, it can start a fire.

Another decor item to watch out for are holiday plants. Poinsettias may be synonynmous with the holidays, but they are toxic if pets try to ingest them. Other plants to watch out for are amaryllis, mistletoe, holly, cedar, and balsam. Potpourri can be a problem too.

6. Don't Forget Garbage Can Safety

This same care in making sure that your pet doesn't eat human food before and during the meal should be given during the cleanup. As dishes are cleared, there's a good chance that an unsupervised pet could get into the trash looking for scraps.

An easy way to solve this is to use a garbage can with a lid or keep the bin inside a cupboard or in a different room than your pet won't be able to access.

Keeping these five tips in mind before your big Thanksgiving celebration will ensure that both four- and two-legged guests have a bountiful feast. 

If your pet does get into anything they shouldn't be sure to have the phone number for emergency pet care or veterinary clinic in your area or your can cal teh ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 1-888-426-4435.

Happy Holidays, furry friends and fellow pet owners!

Tell us how you keep your holidays pet safe on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page. 

READ MORE: Can Your Dog Eat Cranberries This Holiday Season?