How to Avoid Unnecessary Holiday Disasters

The holidays have arrived and many pet owners are busier than ever preparing for the season.  While it is a time of joy, laughter, and giving, nothing can ruin a holiday quicker than a seriously ill pet.  Here are some decorating tips to help you avoid unnecessary disaster.

Christmas Tree
Christmas Trees
  • Anchor trees securely to make sure they won’t fall.
  • Choose ornaments carefully. Avoid displaying breakable, glass ornaments or those with metal fastenings that come loose. Small ornaments that can be swallowed pose choking hazards or can cause life-threatening obstructions.  It is better not to hang them at all.
  • Skip the tinsel. It is enticing to cats and not pet friendly when accidentally ingested.
  • Ban ribbons, raffia or string from entering your home. Like tinsel they pose a threat to cats.
  • Clean up pine needles frequently. They can be toxic when eaten.
  • Use a covered tree holder to prevent your pet from drinking the water.
  • Don’t put aspirin or other chemicals in with the water for the tree.
  • Decorating trees with food is asking for problems. 
Holiday Plants
Holiday Houseplants
  • Research the pet safety of any plants that are brought into your home.  Common ones that can pose medical problems for your animals include lilies, mistletoe, poinsettias, holly, amaryllis and ivy.  We recommend growing cat grass instead which is safe for cats and to eat, and foregoing the more traditional holiday plants that pose safety issues.
Holiday Candles
Lights, candles, electric cords and fragrance
  • Invest in pet-proof extension cords and keep lights safely secured or covered to deter chewing.
  • Careful with candles. They can be a fire hazard if knocked over and fumes can be harmful to birds.  Hot wax causes serious injuries that are avoidable and will ruin your holiday if your pet gets burned.
  • Forego liquid potpourri which can be very dangerous and is best avoided altogether.
  • Unplug decorations when you are not around.

We hope that by following these safety tips, you are sure to have a happy, healthy holiday season. Pets make our homes happier and fill them with love and joy.  Keeping them safe and free from harm is what we can give them in return. Emergencies do happen despite the best-laid plans.  Never hesitate to seek veterinary medical care immediately. Emergency clinics and on-call veterinarians are always available and pet owners should seek their care during evenings, weekends, or holidays. 

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