The holidays are almost here, and it’s time to start shopping for gifts for every member of your family. And for the millions of households with pets, that might include purchasing gifts for your cat or dog. If you want a pet-safe Christmas this year, here are some gift-giving tips and holiday essentials you may want to skip for the sake of your pet.

Chew-safe toys

If you’re planning on purchasing toys for your pet this holiday, then make sure there aren’t any strings or loose pieces that they could accidentally swallow. This is especially a problem with cheap pet toys, where many details are poorly attached. Remove anything that could get stuck in the animal’s stomach before giving it to them.

Healthy treats

As tempting as it could be to give your dog the bone from the holiday roast, it could actually be very harmful to your pet. Bone shards have a tendency to splinter and cause dental or intestinal damage. However, a healthy chewable treat can be great for your animal’s dental health. And since an estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of dental disease by age three, chew treats can help improve dental health overall.

Adorable winter clothing

This advice may not hold true for cats, but if you have a beloved family dog, then you should know that those adorable dog sweaters can serve a practical purpose. In cold weather, many dogs can benefit from their own winter clothing. While cotton sweaters may work well on social media, synthetic jackets can help keep dogs nice and warm in snowy winter weather, which makes them a great pet-safe Christmas gift.

Avoid table scraps

Be careful about feeding your furry friend any sort of fatty meats or treats from your own plate on the holidays. The high-fat content in many human holiday foods can cause a variety of digestive problems in your pet. Instead, find healthy vegetables that haven’t had extra fats added to them for your pet to eat.

Watch for decoration dangers

While you might want to deck the halls this season, be sure that your holiday decorations are safe for your pets. Cookie ornaments, while a popular Christmas tree decoration, can be dangerous when eaten by your curious pet. The ornaments aren’t the only place you need to check on your tree; keep an eye on the base, too. The water that accumulates around the base of a Christmas tree might be tempting for pets to drink; however, it can also be toxic. If you do have a live Christmas tree, try to keep them away from the water and ensure their water dishes are always kept full with fresh water.

The tree might be a centerpiece of holiday decor, but it’s not the only place where your pet can get into trouble. Watch out for trouble with stockings; if your pet can reach them, they can also reach any candies inside. To keep your pet safe, have a separate stocking for pets and keep gifts and treats for humans well out of reach of your pet.

Potentially toxic Christmas plants

The water in the base of your Christmas tree isn’t the only Christmas health hazards to watch out for. If you have a dog or cat that loves to munch on plants around your home, then you should avoid mistletoe and poinsettias at all costs. These plants are very dangerous for pets when ingested, so it’s best to keep them far away this Christmas season.

The holidays can be a great time for any family and any pet; just make sure that you take the proper steps to keep your pet happy, healthy, and safe during the season. That way, your entire family can enjoy the celebrations during a pet-safe Christmas. You don’t need to wait for an emergency to become familiar with our veterinary services. Get the best care you can find for all of your pet’s health needs. We are more than just an animal hospital. Call 520-888-3177 for more information about our specialty services on site, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.