Tips for keeping your pets nice, not naughty this holiday season

This is a news release written by the Animal Care Services Department. To submit a news release to us, email news@nowcastsa.org. 

Now that the holidays are here people will be spending more time indoors entertaining. Residents may want to include their pets in the merrymaking but that could mean trouble without a few elementary precautions. The holidays can be merry and bright for our four legged friends by following some simple tips.
 
Holiday Pet Behavior

 

  • Pay attention to your companion animal. Pets are often ignored in the rush and excitement of the holidays. This can lead to mischief.
  • Unsure about how your pet will react to all the new faces in the house? Create a safe, comfortable place for your pet to relax. Make sure you put out plenty of fresh food, water and toys.
  •  Play with your dog or cat at least twice a day for twenty minutes. A tired pet is less likely to make a mess or do something “off limits.”
  • Use baby gates to cut off access to “restricted” areas.
  • Let your pet enjoy the holidays too with some new toys or treats.

  
Common Food Dangers
 

  • Holiday goodies should be kept away from your pet. Chocolate and raisins can actually be fatal to many animals.
  • It may be tempting but don’t give your pet food off of the table. Holiday foods can be hard on your animal’s stomach and may lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Candies and gums with the artificial sweetener Xylitol can also be toxic to pets.
  • Remember, poultry bones are a choking hazard and they can splinter.
  • Giving alcohol to a pet--even a sip or two--is dangerous and could be fatal.
  • Common holiday plants like lilies, mistletoe and holly berries are very poisonous to pets. Poinsettias are actually not as toxic but could cause stomach distress if ingested.
  •  Ribbon, candles, aluminum foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be a choking hazard and cause intestinal blockage if swallowed.
  •  Christmas tree water could contain fertilizers. Keep your pet away.
  •  If you suspect your animal may have ingested something toxic, get your pet to a vet immediately or call the ASPCA animal poison control center at 1-888-426-4435, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (there may be a charge).

 

Featured Image: "Button all decked out in his holiday finery" by college.library is licensed under CCC BY 2.0.