The holidays can stir up excitement as you get ready for the activities, meals and decorating that lies ahead. But, if you’re a pet owner, you should also consider how things like festive plants, lighting or other changes around your house might affect the safety of your pets. Here are eight safety tips that keep your pet’s well-being in mind this holiday season.
1. Secure, Hide or Cover Electrical Cords
Holiday lights and decorations usually lead to many new cords being scattered around the house. Be sure all cords are secure or hidden so your pets aren’t tempted to play with or chew on them, says the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). It may also be a good idea to unplug cords when you’re away to minimize the risk of electrocution.
2. Keep Food Out of a Pet’s Reach
The holidays inspire delicious food, drinks, and desserts. But remember, dogs and cats shouldn’t eat certain foods because it could make them sick. When you wrap up mealtime, be sure the counters are clear of food, store away all leftovers and take out the trash, says the AVMA. You should also make sure to secure the lids on all trash cans to help deter dogs from trying to dig in.
3. Ditch the Candles
Lighted candles may add a charming glow to your home around the holidays, but they can be dangerous to your pets and create a fire hazard. Never leave lit candles unattended because your curious pet could burn themselves or knock them over, says the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Consider opting for battery-lit candles instead, to help keep you and your pets safe during the holidays.
4. Research Holiday Plants
Many common holiday plants could be dangerous to your pet. Plants such as mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias could cause your dog or cat to have cardiovascular or gastrointestinal issues if they ingest them, says the ASPCA. Keep in mind that certain plants can also affect different animals and breeds in unique ways. Be sure to research how specific holiday plants may affect your pet before deciding to showcase them in or around your home.