Have you ever plucked your cat off a precarious perch? Or stopped your dog from eating something that wasn’t food? Our animal companions are very curious and playful. These traits can get our furred—and feathered—friends into trouble, especially at this time of year. Read on as a Scottsdale, AZ vet discusses holiday pet safety.

Decorations

Tinsel, lights, ornament hooks, ribbons, and fragile ornaments are all hazardous to pets. Candy canes and their wrappers can also be dangerous, as they are choking hazards.

Trees

The tree itself is another concern. Pets can get very sick if they ingest pine needles! The water is also unsafe, as it could contain chemical residue. If you get a real tree, cover the water bowl. (Of course, kitties can also hurt themselves if they try to climb the tree, but that’s a whole other topic.)

Fire/Heat

Flames and animals are a dangerous mix! Keep pets away from candles, potpourri burners, and fireplaces.

Food

Food is a crucial part of many holiday celebrations. Your animal companion definitely deserves a special treat! However, you’ll have to be careful here, as many popular foods are toxic to pets. The exact list of safe and unsafe foods will depend on what sort of animal companion you have. However, there are a few things that should be off-limits for all pets. This includes chocolate; caffeine; alcohol; raw dough or yeast; garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; processed foods; and anything containing xylitol.

Stress

Many of our animal pals are easily stressed or frightened. Loud noises, guests, traveling, visitors, commotion, and changes in environment or schedule can all make pets anxious. Spend some quiet quality time with your pet every day. Pet them, play with them, and just hang out with them. On nights when you know or suspect things may get noisy—such as New Year’s Eve—you may want to put your animal companion in a quiet area. Turn a radio on to mask the noise. If your pet gets extremely nervous, ask your vet for tips on using pet-calming products.

Plants

Did you know that poinsettias are toxic to pets? Holly, ivy, and mistletoe are also unsafe. Keep holiday plants in a spot your pet can’t reach. Or better yet, just get fake ones.

Happy holidays! Please reach out to us, your Scottsdale, AZ pet clinic, anytime. We’re dedicated to keeping your pet healthy!