Countless people see the holiday season as a time of safety, joy, and togetherness — all of which include pets as part of the mix! But while you’re enjoying all of the festivities the winter holidays have to offer, your four-legged family members could be getting into trouble.

If you’re wondering how to keep pets of all kinds safe this holiday season, you’ve come to the right place! Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to pet safety this season.

O Christmas Tree? O Pet Hazard!

For those pet owners who celebrate Christmas, there’s nothing more indicative of the holiday than a beautiful, live Christmas tree in your home. Unfortunately, that holiday staple could be a hazard to your pets. When setting up your holiday tree, remember:

  • Tinsel is not a treat – For the 38,900,000 households that own cats, tinsel is an emergency vet trip waiting to happen. It might be fun to watch your cat play with this shiny “toy,” but if ingested it can lead to digestive tract obstructions and possibly surgery for your furry friend.
  • Light it up(wards) – Literally! The bottom boughs of your Christmas tree may look beautiful all lit up, but they pose burn and electrocution hazards for pets. A puppy left alone with a tree full of shiny lights may end up chewing through wires instead of on a toy. Skip the lower branches and keep your tree lights out of reach from curious pets.

Figgy Pudding Is for People (Not Pets!)

There’s nothing quite like a gorgeous holiday feast with family and friends, but that doesn’t mean your pet should be pigging out like the humans are. And we’re not just talking about food, either.

Water your tree, not your pets – Tree water may keep your holiday decorations alive, but it will not be so kind to your pets. Not only is the stagnant water a breeding ground for bacteria, it looks just like your pet’s water dish! Make sure to keep your pets away from this water for fear of an emergency visit to your local 24 hour vet.

Keep ornaments ornamental – Ornaments, like tree lights, should be kept far from the bottom boughs of your tree. Not only do they pose a choking hazard, any broken glass ornaments could seriously injure some pet paws.

Say no to fatty foods – As much as you might want to share your holiday roast, your pets shouldn’t be ingesting any fatty foods like turkey or ham. Ingesting these foods poses an increased risk of pancreatitis.

Keep Your 24 Hour Vet Information Handy

Holiday pet emergencies can strike at any time, sometimes no matter how careful you think you’ve been. They key is knowing what signs of a pet emergency to look for. Some of the most common pet emergency symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty standing/walking
Whether you suspect your pet has ingested something they’re not supposed to or sustained a severe injury, it’s important to keep your 24 hour veterinary services information on hand. In the event of a veterinary emergency, the best policy is preparedness.

If you have any questions about other common holiday pet safety tips, don’t hesitate to contact Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center today. Happy Howlidays!