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Posted on 12-18-2017

The holidays are important to everyone for a wide variety of reasons. One thing we can all agree on is that it’s a time to get family together for quality time before the start of a new year. We spend time decorating our houses to perfection, and hours in the kitchen making delicious meals. What we might not take time to consider is how these gatherings may affect our pets. With a house full of people they may not know, or amazing smelling food that they can’t eat, they might start to feel anxious. Here is how you can help your pets feel more comfortable this holiday season.

Holiday Decorating Tips

Christmas trees are often an eye-catching centerpiece to any well decorated room during the season. For pet owners, this tree becomes more of a hassle because a lot of pets like to treat it like a toy. There are a few things you can do to keep your curious pets safe from the Christmas tree this year:

  • Opt for an artificial tree this year. While this might not be the most authentic option for your family, it’s the first step you can take to keep your pets safe. Artificial trees are more sturdy than real trees because they come with a stand that is made to keep the tree standing. No more cats climbing to the top only to watch it tumble over. Artificial trees also don’t need to be water, so your pets won’t be drinking the tree water that can be harmful to them.

  • Keep the decorations high. For both dogs and cats, low hanging ornaments and garland are just asking to be played with or swatted at. When decorating your tree, leave the bottom clear from any hanging decorations.

  • Tinsel is a no-go. To a cat, tinsel might be the perfect toy. Shiny and light, and so easy to bat around. However, if swallowed, this can pose a threat to their airways and digestive tracts.

Other decorations you should stay away from include mistletoe, holly, and poinsettia. These plants are harmful to your pet's health. Choose either artificial or a pet-friendly substitute. Keep track of where you place your holiday candles. Make sure they’re completely out of your pet's reach, especially a wagging tail.

Kitchen Safety

Who can resist the smells coming from the kitchen during the holidays? Humans and pets alike can’t stay away! To keep your pets safe this year, make sure you take a few precautions. Common foods to make sure your dog avoids include xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, raw yeast dough, macadamia nuts and chocolate. Cocktails and other alcoholic beverages should be kept away from pets, as well. When done cooking, you should take the trash out as soon as possible to ensure your pets can’t get into it. Things like poultry bones are especially harmful to our pets. Keeping your pets out of the kitchen with gates, or crates, if they’re crate trained, is the best option to keep everyone involved safe.   

Keeping Your Pet Comfortable

Are you hosting this year’s festivities? You might want to consider designating one of the rooms in your house as your pets room. Your house is your pet's house, and having it full of strangers can be stressful for them. To keep them comfortable, move their bed, favorite toys, and food and water dishes into a quiet room of your house to keep them calm while the party is happening.

Following these tips and taking the necessary precautions will keep you and your pets happy, healthy and safe during the holiday festivities. If you have any questions about keeping your pets safe during the season, please feel free to call us at 602-559-5500 or visit our website anytime. From the entire team at Phoenix Veterinary Center, we hope you and your pets have a very happy holiday!

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