Pets Holiday Safety

Pet Holiday Safety Tips by Solo Insurance®

We love our pets at Solo Insurance® and know lots of people plan to include their furry and feathered companions in their holiday season festivities.  Here in the middle of the holiday season, it’s a good idea to double check all your decorations and plans with your pet(s) in mind.  Keep the height of your pets and climbing abilities in mind as you look where you placed the decorations.  Keep your pet’s eating and exercising routines as close to normal as possible (sounds like a good idea for us all!). 


Please take a moment to remind yourself to keep your pets away from the following dangerous decorations, toxic plants and bad treats.


Bad Ideas - Dangerous Holiday Decor, Plants, and Food that are Harmful to Pets


Pet Holiday Safety Tips·         Tinsel-cats really seem to like it.  It’s sparkly, light-catching "toy" to them that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But if they swallow it, it can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.  If you have curious pets that can’t resist the sparkle, best to leave this and the garlands off the tree.  Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the riskiest toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often requiring surgery.

·         Which bring us to the Christmas tree.  Anchor it securely so it can’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet and the loss of your ornaments, especially the ones from your grandmother! A secure tree helps prevent the tree water, if you have a fresh tree, from spilling.  Often the water may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset to pets; plus, stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea from it.

·         Two beautiful but toxic plants for pets are mistletoe & holly.  Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Also, many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested.  So be wise!  Keep the season bright by opting for festive artificial plants made from silk or plastic or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

·         Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets can burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out.

·         Keep things like wires, ornaments and batteries out of paws' and beaks’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock. A punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.  Shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.

·         By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate, and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising pet will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food. Be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans and tins of popcorn left on the coffee table.

·         Don’t feed your pets the fatty, spicy human foods, as well as bones.  Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.

·         If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, it could cause weakness and make them ill, even to the point of a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.  Alcohol is very bad for them.


Good Ideas - The Best Ways to Keep Your Pet(s) Safe During the Holidays

Select special treats for your dear ones so they can play with them safely without your constant attention:

·         Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible for dogs.  Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or tough chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible (NOT RAWHIDES).  Nylabones are a good choice too.  If they have a ball, it should not quite fit into their mouth, and most certainly not be small enough to catch in their throats and suffocate them.

·         Surprise cats with a new ball that's too big to swallow or a stuffed catnip toy.  There’s also treat dispensing, interactive toys to keep their attention.


When you’re having a holiday gathering, give your pets their own quiet space to retreat—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.  Even if they’re not shy, you can’t control what your guests give them or where the guests put their plates and drinks.  Always best to err on the side of consideration to your pets.


Special New Year's Consideration…it’s almost as bad as 4th of July.  As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area well before midnight approaches.


May your Holiday be safe, happy and full of all things good…for you and your pets!


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