5 tips to make it through the Holidays with a pet

Even though for many people the holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, it is also a time that puts many pets at a greater risk of household accidents.


Here are five recommendations to make the holidays safe for the furry members of your family.

1. Keep your vet’s phone number handy


We sincerely hope you won’t need to use it, but keep the phone number somewhere accessible (like in your phone or on the fridge) so you can save yourself precious minutes – and reduce your stress – if something unfortunate does occur.

If you are worried that your pet is hurt, has eaten something dangerous, or starts acting unusual, don’t hesitate to call!


2. Save the human food for the humans!


Even though animals can safely eat many foods, some products are actually quite dangerous for your pets. This is especially true of the food people eat during the holidays, which includes all kinds of sweets and fats. Here are some foods which should be kept away from cats and dogs:

  • Chocolate
    • Toxic for cats and dogs.
  • Sweets and pastries
    • Xylitol is an artificial colouring agent present in many candies and pastries that can cause renal failure and death in dogs.
  • Onions, grapes and raisins
    • Toxic for cats and dogs.
  • Table scraps
    • Foods rich in fat can be very hard on your dog or cat’s digestive system, and can even cause pancreatitis. Even if your animals beg for the scraps, the compost is a better way to dispose of them.


Pet-proof your decorations


Following these recommendations will drastically reduce the risk of having a Christmas disaster:

  • Make sure your Christmas tree is well secured. Use a sturdy base or tie it to a door. Cats and dogs who are good jumpers are especially at risk!
  • Don’t add any substances (such as aspirin or sugar) to your Christmas tree water. Your animals might drink it.
  • Keep small objects out of your animal’s reach. For example, icicle decorations are especially dangerous.
  • Pet-proof your Christmas lights. Your dog or cat might decide to chew on the lights or cords.
  • Keep plants such as amaryllis, balsam fir, pine, cedar, and holly away from your pet. They can be toxic if your pet decides to sample them!
  • Avoid leaving your pet alone with lit candles.

If anything occurs to concern you, please call your vet.


4. Be a good host… And remember your pet’s needs


It’s a lot of work it is to invite people over for the Holidays. This is why it’s so important to make sure your pet doesn’t suffer during human festivities.

  • If you can, keep a room empty so your animal has a quiet place to seek shelter from the noise and action.
  • Ask your guests if they are planning on bringing over their own animals, and feel free to accept or refuse according to your pet’s ability to be comfortable around other animals.
  • Guard the front door so that your cat or dog doesn’t escape from the house while guests are coming and going.
  • Make sure your pet has an ID chip and collar, because if it manages to escape despite your efforts, you will have a much better chance of being reunited quickly.
  • Pick up all gift wrapping and other forms of trash so that your pet doesn’t swallow something dangerous.


5. Make sure your home is safe before you leave


It’s not the kind of thing we think of every day, but during the holidays, this is very important! Make sure you:

  • Unplug your Christmas lights, even if they are out of your animal’s reach, because you never know what might happen.
  • Don’t forget to extinguish all candles.
  • Take out the garbage and compost! If the bins contain greasy food, your animal might be tempted to snack…

The accumulation of tasks may seem hefty at first glance, but don’t worry. These tasks are actually quick and simple – and they can make a big difference for your pets during the Holidays!


Download this free printable guide for a joyful and peaceful holiday season with your family, pets included.