Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Dec 02, 2018

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

It's beginning to look a lot like... bowel obstructions! Just kidding, but really, holiday festivities can pose a number of hazards to pets if owners aren't diligent. Here are a few tips to keep the 4-legged members of your household safe & happy this holiday season.

Poisonous Foods & Plants

  • Chocolate
  • Garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots
  • Grapes & raisins
  • Bones -- they can not only cause stomach upset, but splinter in your pet's belly! Only provide chew bones that are made specifically for pets. Don't provide bones from your Christmas dinner for dogs to chew on.
  • Poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly can be poisonous if eaten. Skip the real plants and go with faux ones!
  • Live Christmas tree water can contain dangerous chemicals. Be sure your pets can't drink it.

Keep the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline's number handy: 1-888-426-4435. Also be sure that your veterinarian's number is in your phone's Favorite contacts, along with Evansville's All-Pet Emergency Clinic if your pet eats something dangerous after hours.

Dangerous Decorations

  • If your pet is a chewer, be sure to keep cords for Christmas lights & decorations covered or out of reach. Pets can easily be electrocuted if they chew on a live wire.
  • Also keep tinsel and ribbon out of reach. Materials like this, if swallowed, can get tangled around your pet's internal organs and cause dangerous obstructions or perforations. This danger is much more common than people think!
  • Closely monitor lit candles and fireplaces
  • Keep track of small parts and batteries from kids' new toys and packaging. Again, pets can ingest these and have all kinds of internal problems.

Precautions Against Getting Lost
The holidays are hectic, with lots of guests coming in & out of your home, delivery people dropping off packages, and sometimes traveling with pets. It is very easy in the hustle & bustle for pets to become more stressed and bolt from their homes, or for tired travelers to lose focus just for a moment and boom -- your pet is gone. If the unthinkable happens and your pet gets lost, particularly if you are out of town, then proper identification could make a truly lifesaving difference. 

Be sure your pet is microchipped and that the chip is registered. Microchips work nationwide and have been known to reunite lost pets with their families even years later. We offer microchipping at our Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic.

Also make sure your pet is always wearing external identification in the form of a collar with an ID tag with your name & phone number on it. Key word *always* -- even if they've just had a bath or a grooming, have a backup collar handy. Even if they rarely go outdoors. Even if they have never been lost before.

Take extra care to protect pets who are new to your household. If you've never had a Christmas with your pet so far, it may not be easy to predict how they will react to the busy holidays.

For additional information on pet toxins and safety tips, check out the ASPCA or American Veterinary Medical Association's tips. 

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season from our VHS family to yours!