How to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Holidays

 

shutterstock_754292557The holidays are an exciting time for everyone – even pets! It’s important to remember, though, that some of our human holiday activities can frighten or overwhelm our furry friends. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your pet has a great time. Keep reading for some great tips on how to keep your pet safe during the holidays.

Control Anxiety

Too much excitement can make a dog or cat nervous, especially if they’ve never experienced a holiday party before. To keep your pet calm during a gathering, control his or her anxiety by doing the following:

  • Let guests know you have a pet. Pets pick up on nervousness from humans, so if your guests are aware before they arrive, there will be fewer awkward introductions for everyone!
  • Consider crating your animal during the party. They will be calm in their own space, away from loud noise. If your animal is not crate-trained, place them in a quiet room that is off-limits to guests.
  • If your pet is out and about with partygoers, make sure they have a toy to keep them busy and engaged. Something familiar will reduce any potential anxiety.

Watch the Food

One of the best parts of the holidays is all the fantastic food and treats. Remember, though, that human food is rarely good for animals. Here are some holiday foods to avoid giving pets:

  • Candy and chocolate. Chocolate and the sweetener Xylitol are very toxic to cats and dogs.
  • Fruit seeds. While it is generally safe to give the flesh of some fruits to dogs, you should avoid including any seeds in those bites. Especially avoid cherry pits, grape seeds, peach pits, and apple seeds.
  • Pets should not have access to your coffee cup or any beans or grounds.
  • Salt
  • Nuts
  • Raw eggs

If you are holding a party, remind guests not to give your pets any scraps or human food. Make sure that the trash can is well covered or in a location the pet cannot reach.

Mind the Decorations

Some typical holiday decorations can pose a threat to pets if not taken care of. Here are the worst offenders to pet safety during the holidays:

  • The Christmas tree. Low hanging branches might be a chewable temptation for your pet, so either keep a watchful eye out to make sure they don’t chew the dangerous needles or trim the bottom few branches so they cannot reach them.
  • The tree stand. Many tree stands include a water base that often contains chemicals to feed the tree. These chemicals are toxic to pets and could harm them.
  • Christmas lights and tree decorations. Shiny things can be attractive to pets, and pulling down a strand of lights could mean a larger disaster. Ensure tree decorations are unreachable and that Christmas lights around the house cannot be pulled by the pet.
  • Candles and fire. Don’t leave pets unattended with a burning candle or fire in the room.
  • Live plants. Along with the Christmas tree, other holiday plants can pose problems. Be wary of ivy, poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe, as these can be poisonous to pets.

Contact Argos Dog Training

For pet owners, keeping your pet safe is of utmost importance. If you need help maintaining your dog’s holiday anxiety or getting him trained, contact the experts at Argos Dog Training for the best professional dog-training experience.