Buddy Knows: Holiday Pet Safety

The holidays are bound to be a little different for all of us this year, given the COVID-19 situation. But, in the end, most of us will probably still cook special foods and decorate our homes like we do every year because… tradition! So, just because the family gatherings might be smaller, don’t let your guard down about keeping your pet safe during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We absolutely believe your pet should be a part of the festivities, but common foods and objects can be hazardous to his or her health. Make sure your garbage cans are sealed and your countertops are never left unattended so your pet doesn’t get a hold of things like chicken or turkey bones, corn cobs, raisins, chocolate, macadamia nuts, and garlic. Meat bones are a serious concern because they can splinter inside your pet’s intestines and cause lacerations or blockages. Corn cobs can similarly block up the intestines. The other items in our list are either toxic or can cause severe intestinal upset for your pet. There are many other foods not mentioned here that can be a problem for your pet, so it is best practice to avoid giving your pet any table scraps, and if you do, make sure you know beforehand that the food is not harmful.

Pets might also be tempted to munch on things we would not consider appetizing, such as mistletoe, lilies, holly, and poinsettias. When you deck the halls for Christmas, make sure your live plants are well out of reach of curious mouths, or better yet – swap live plants out for fake ones. Fake plants are not only safer for your pet, but they last longer and can be reused for many years to come.

For both Thanksgiving and Christmas, you might have a slew of cute ornaments, wreaths, and doodads around your home. A lot of holiday decorations have small pieces that can present a choking hazard for your pet, so pay close attention to what you put where. Tuck electrical wires away, and be careful with wire hooks used for tree ornaments. Glass ornaments might shatter and cut your pet’s feet if they fall off the tree because someone (ahem, cats) knocks them off. Also, it might be best to skip the tinsel, as too much of that being ingested can present yet another intestinal blockage hazard.

Lastly, if you are having guests over, make sure all of them are on the same page with your house rules regarding your pet. Lots of people give in to those puppy eyes and cute begging strategies, so make it clear that your pet is not to receive any table scraps. Also ensure that any children coming over are attended at all times so food and/or shiny, colorful decorations don’t end up in their curious hands and, from there, in your pet’s mouth.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season with your family.

The Yappie Cuttery Team