The Howlidays Are Coming
How to Keep Your Pet Safe This Season

Blog Post

The weather is cooling, the days are getting shorter, which means only one thing…it’s almost time for the howlidays!

Fall and winter holidays bring joy, laughter, and tasty treats! But many of these goodies and decorations can also be harmful to your pets. Here are some helpful reminders as we head into the season full of pup-kin spice and everything nice.

Halloween

This spook-tacular holiday is fun for the whole family: carving pumpkins, dressing up in costumes and doing our best not to eat all of the candy ourselves. As you stock up on treats for the big night, make sure to keep them in a safe space, far away from your furry friends. Many of us know that chocolate in all forms is dangerous to cats and dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. But Xylitol, often found in sugar free candies, can also be dangerous and lead to seizures and even liver failure in dogs! If your pet accidentally ingests these treats, make sure to contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435.

Halloween also presents another danger to your pets, as the doorbell rings and you rush to the front door to hand out candy to visitors, your pet might get scared, nervous and stressed.  Even social pets might dart out the door to say hello to all the people on the street! Placing your dog or cat in a safe, enclosed room will help keep the stress down – as well as eliminate the fear of a pet dashing out into the night!

Thanksgiving

 

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends or family, and enjoy a holiday feast! It may be tempting to let your furry friends join in the fun, but many of the common Thanksgiving dishes can be toxic to pets. Rich, fatty foods like butter, bacon, gravies, desserts and more can cause pancreatitis – an inflammation of the pancreas causing vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Turkey bones cause other issues, as they may splinter and injure the digestive tract of your pet.

And take this ‘sage’ advice: MANY of the common spices and items used in Thanksgiving dishes can cause problems for your pet including sage, onion, garlic, raisins, and more.

Another helpful tip: Watch your trashcans and leftovers! You may not intend to share your feast with your dog, but sometimes all those wonderful smells may inspire them to help themselves!

If you just can’t help but want your pet to join in the fun, consider giving them their own ‘pet friendly’ feast like a stuffed Kong, a SMALL amount of cooked, boneless white meat turkey, or a spoonful of plain, canned pumpkin.

Christmas & Other Winter Holidays

 

December is full of holiday cheer, but nothing ruins the fun like a trip to the emergency vet clinic! Avoid the stress and heartache by preparing yourself in advance. Many of the holiday foods we mentioned before also pop up during Christmas get togethers, so you will need to take the same precautions to keep your pets safe.

Other potential dangers to your pet include holiday decorations and plants. While Christmas tress light up our holiday evenings, they are also incredibly interesting for cats and dogs!

Make sure to not only securely anchor your tree to keep it from tipping, but also consider using an x-pen or other gate to discourage your pets from playing with ornaments, chewing on lights or drinking stagnant water which can cause nausea or diarrhea. 

Do not leave candles unattended, as you may wind up with burnt whiskers and a fire if they are knocked over. Liquid potpourri also poses dangers, especially if a cat attempts to ingest the liquid. We recommend not leaving these items unattended and keeping them on stable surfaces, out of reach of curious pets.

Holiday floral arrangements are a wonderful way to decorate your home, but can also cause problems for your cat or dog. Poinsettas, lilies, holly and mistletoe can all be toxic to your pet, causing a range of issues from gastrointestinal distress to kidney failure. Stay on the safe side with artificial arrangements, or pet-friendly bouquets.  

It may only be September, but the holidays will be here before you know it! We hope these tips will help you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season!