The holidays are here, and soon our homes will fill with delicious foods, dazzling decorations, fun festivities, and, probably, stress. Worrying about a sick or injured furry family member only adds more stress to the holiday season. Relax and enjoy the wonderful times by remembering these holiday guidelines.

#1: Foods to forget

Many pets enjoy the holidays because of the delicious scents wafting in the air, from the roasting Thanksgiving turkey to the Christmas ham. While we love our pets and want to spoil them, not all holiday treats are safe for cats and dogs. Here’s a list of foods to avoid:

  • High-fat foods, like gravy, ham, and buttery sides
  • Heavily spiced or seasoned foods, particularly those with onions or garlic
  • Meat bones that can splinter and break
  • Sugary sweets, such as candy, cookies, and other desserts, even those sweetened with xylitol

A morsel of turkey breast (minus the skin), a lick of plain mashed potatoes, and some fresh green beans can be a safe holiday dinner for your pet. When in doubt, stick to store-bought pet treats as a special gift.

#2: Decorations to ditch

Your guests may ooh and ahh over your sparkling decorations, but your pet isn’t interested unless those decorations can be mistaken as chew toys. To keep your home merry and bright, place decorations far out of reach of inquisitive pets. Lights can cause electrical burns, glass ornaments can shatter and slice paw pads, tinsel and ribbon can knot up a pet’s intestinal tract, and a variety of festive plants can be mildly irritating to potentially deadly. If you’re planning to add some bright blooms or greenery to your home this holiday season, check the toxicity potential on the ASPCA’s website.

#3: Parties to pass on

Your pet may appreciate you all decked out in your finest duds, but she won’t feel the same if you doll her up. Skip party outfits for your pet and consider declining party invites for her as well. While many pets are social butterflies around small groups of people they know, large crowds can be nerve-wracking. If you’re throwing a get-together in your home, set up a party room for your pet away from the group. Stock it with her favourite cozy bed, a new chew toy or catnip mouse, and a tasty, long-lasting treat. She will probably be happier at her party of one than ducking the many hands reaching out for a pat, loud music, and commotion found in the main party.

From food hazards to emotional distress, we’re here to help you ensure a safe and pleasant holiday for your furry friend. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns.