Dog at Christmas.

While even our pets can get in on the holiday fun, this time of year does pose some serious risks to their health and well-being. All pets are at an increased risk of holiday-related illnesses or injuries. Our pet safety reminders will help your four-legged buddy get through the holiday season, and help them enjoy it!

A Good Place to Start

A pet’s daily routine is critically important to their overall health. They not only like anticipating certain events, but they depend on things happening in a predictable manner. Meal times, bathroom breaks, play times, and bedtimes are critical to their overall health, but also add to a pet’s peace of mind. A loss of control over their routine can have serious consequences, including stress and anxiety, going to the bathroom where they shouldn’t, and destructive behaviors. 

If you are unable to keep up your pet’s daily routine, please consider hiring a pet sitter or dog walker. Ask family, friends, or neighbors to check on your pet. Reserving a place at a boarding facility (even for a night or two) can keep your pet out of trouble.

Holiday Foods 

It wouldn’t be the holidays without roasted meat, baked goods, and drinks. Keep your pet safe from harm by ensuring they cannot access the table or counter tops. If you’re preparing foods they shouldn’t be around, install a baby gate to keep your pet out of the kitchen. Be sure that your pet cannot sneak food or break into garbage cans. Make your pet something scrumptious that they can enjoy during your family meal. 

The following holiday foods or ingredients can lead to serious health problems:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Fatty or rich foods
  • Bones
  • Uncooked yeast dough
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Bones
  • Xylitol

If you know or suspect that your pet ate something they shouldn’t have, please reach out to us for urgent veterinary care

So Green, Lovely, and Dangerous

Lilies, poinsettia, holly, and mistletoe round out the most dangerous holiday plants. If you bring any of these inside your pet’s home, restrict your pet’s access to them by displaying them on high, hard to reach surfaces. 

Christmas trees can be irresistible to curious pets, especially if they are covered in lights, tinsel, garlands, and sparkly ornaments. We recommend securing the tree to the back wall or corner in case your pet decides to jump or climb the tree. Keep the tree stand covered to prevent them from drinking from the water. Many Christmas trees leach chemicals into the tree stand that can endanger a pet’s health.

Items used to decorate Christmas trees can lead to various injuries, such as:

  • Broken glass from fallen ornaments or snowglobes can cut a pet’s feet. 
  • Ribbon, bows, or tinsel can cause GI obstruction. 
  • Candles, simmer potpourri, and low-hanging string lights or electrical cords can cause burns. 

December Pet Care

Pet-proofing your home can be done throughout the year to ensure the removal of items that have the potential to harm your pet. If you have any questions about your pet’s safety during the holidays, please call us at (916) 726-2334. 

From all of us at Sunrise Boulevard Animal Hospital, have a safe and happy holiday!