While most people look forward to the holiday season, the same isn’t necessarily true for our pets. From scary costumes on Halloween to an abundance of table scraps at Thanksgiving, this is a time for extra caution when pets are around. And let’s not forget sparkly decorations and even fireworks—there’s a lot to be aware of especially if this is your first holiday season with a pet.

Tips for a Pet Safe Halloween

  • When expecting visitors, put your dog or cat in a quiet place away from the door. This will help prevent them from getting worked up. 
  • Keep bowls and bags of candy far out of reach. Chocolate and the sweetener xylitol—often found in gum and peanut butter—can be very toxic to dogs and cats. Kids should also be reminded not to feed candy to pets.
  • If you’re putting your pet in costume, make sure they feel comfortable in it before taking them out. If the costume has bells, noisemakers or strings they can scare your pet or pose a choking hazard.  
  • Keep your pet indoors on Halloween night! This is especially important for black cats, who can be targeted during the holiday. Also, make sure your pets are microchipped or have a collar with current identification in case they get scared and run off.

Give Thanks for These Thanksgiving Safety Tips

  • Don’t leave wine glasses at snout or tail level. Alcohol is a real problem for pets, and overactive tails could also knock over glasses, resulting in injuries from broken glass. 
  • Keep cut flowers and centerpieces out of paw’s reach. Many of the most beautiful plants—such as lilies and mistletoe—are quite poisonous to pets.
  • Ribbons, strings, and sticks are a danger as cats love to play with them and if ingested, they can become caught in the intestinal tract. Potpourri also contains herbs and oils that can be toxic.
  • Careful with the turkey & trimmings! Turkey skin, gravy, and drippings are all high in fat and can cause pancreatitis in pets. Bones are a choking hazard, as is the tasty twine you used to secure your bird. If your stuffing contains raisins, onion, garlic, nutmeg, nuts, butter, or mushrooms, it’s a no-no for fido – and felines, too.
  • If your pet is allergic to poultry, make sure the turkey is out of reach.
  • Chocolate—especially dark and baking chocolate—can be toxic to pets, but it should be paws off for other sweets too, such as candied yams and bread, cake, and cookie dough.

Safety Tips for Winter Holidays

  • Put sparkly decorations, small spinning dreidels, and other game pieces out of the reach of felines. They’re very attracted to moving, shiny things and you don’t want them ingesting tinsel or other objects.
  • Keep pets away from holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and lilies which are highly toxic.
  • Secure your tree to a doorway or strong drapery pole with fishing line to keep it from falling over if your dog bumps it or your cat tries to climb it. If you have a menorah, be sure to place it in a secure spot well out of reach of pets and wagging tails, especially once lit.
  • Chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, currants, macadamia nuts, and walnuts are all on the naughty list for pets. Also watch out for xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in chewing gum, candy and peanut butter, that can quickly cause illness and even death.
  • Remind children not to leave candy like coin-shaped chocolates in places where curious pets can get to them.
  • Hide and secure electrical cords for lights—pets can suffer serious injury and electrocution from chewing on them. Inexpensive rubber covers can be purchased at hardware stores.
  • Put your pet in another room with toys and a bed if you are hosting a gathering. This way your dog, and especially your cat, will be less stressed.

If your pet hasn’t had an annual checkup this year, there’s still time! Call usat (425) 823-8411 to make an appointment today! Or book online!