Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Time for turkey, pies, and gathering with loved ones. Speaking of loved ones, your pets are a joyous part of your family and will, no doubt, be cuddling and loving up on you during the holiday season. It’s important to remember that the holidays can be a chaotic and potentially dangerous time for your pets. Read on to discover how to keep them safe and happy.

Pay Attention to Holiday House Traffic

Sadly, many pets go missing during the holiday season. This could be due to the increased foot-traffic in and out of homes. When your guests are arriving and departing, consider putting your cats or dogs in a secure location such as an upstairs bedroom, outside, or in the garage. This will ensure that they don’t bolt out an open door in all of the madness.

Keep Those Counters Clean

When preparing food and hosting dinner parties make sure that you are keeping your counters clean. This will remove the temptation for your pets to help themselves to potentially hazardous food items. If your pets are known to open cabinet and refrigerator doors, consider baby locks.

Make Sure Guests Know Your Rules About “People Food”

For some pets, some “people food” is perfectly acceptable. For others, it can result in serious stomach issues. If your pet isn’t allowed to have people food under any circumstances, let your guests know. Consider placing a small but visible sign in your kitchen that says “Please, don’t feed Fido.” or “The Cat will Judge You for Feeding It People Food.” Keep some pet-friendly treats on hand for guests, particularly young children.

Edible Ornaments

Ornaments made out of bird seed, peanut butter, popcorn, and other edible materials may seem harmless to pets but the edible materials are often mixed with glue, glitter, and other materials that could be dangerous for your pets. Make sure these ornaments are at the top of the Christmas tree or displayed in an out-of-reach area so that your pet won’t be tempted.

Communicate with Your Guests

If your cat or dog “people friendly” and are they good with children? Are they good with other animals? Is it ok for guests to bring their dog(s) over for a playdate. Often times, well-meaning pet owners will assume that, since their animal is friendly, all animals must also be friendly. That’s not always the case and can lead to issues. When you invite guests to your home, be sure to state whether other animals are welcome in your home.

Consider Boarding

If you are only hosting for a night or two and your pet doesn’t do well with large groups or children, consider boarding them or having them stay with a friend. It will be better for their nerves and yours.

Meet the Author: Hope Gately

Hope Gately is a haphazard outdoors enthusiast. She summits Colorado 14ners, hikes the backcountry, canyoneers, and climbs with the best of 'em. The best part about her travels is that her loyal Blue Pit Bull, Indy, is by her side at every step!

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