The Christmas season is a busy time of year when your home might look a little different. With bright lights, decorations, holiday treats, and house guests, your household may hold more potential dangers to your pet during the winter season. Since your pets rely on you to keep them safe, it’s important to take extra precautions to prevent a pet emergency. The team at Town and Country Animal Hospital has put together this list of ways to improve the safety of your home for your pets this Christmas season.

Be Mindful of the Decorations You Choose

Christmas and holiday decorations are a fun part of the season, and a great way to make your home feel festive, but many of them are dangerous to your pets. Be mindful of the following decorations and keep an eye on your pets if you choose to decorate your house with these items.

Flashing Lights: Some blinking and flashing strobe light decorations can alarm your pet, and make them think there is a lightning storm nearby. Skip the flashing lights if you have a pet who is fearful of storms.

Tinsel: Another decoration to avoid is tinsel. This shiny, stringy substance is appealing to cats, who think it’s an enticing toy. If ingested, tinsel can become a dangerous blockage in your cat’s stomach that may require surgery to remove.

Christmas Trees: Make sure your Christmas tree is secured in its base, so your cat or dog has less of a chance of knocking it over. If your family prefers a live tree, don’t let your pets near the water at the base of the tree. The water can become stagnant and full of bacteria that can make your pets sick. Many Christmas tree fertilizers contain chemicals that are still harmful to pets, even if they are marked as pet safe.

Candles: There is nothing cozier than Christmas candles. Unfortunately, candles can be a potential fire hazard when combined with your pets. Never leave a lit candle unsupervised around your pets, and keep candles on surfaces where paws and tails cannot accidentally knock them over.

Store Away Holiday Treats

Keeping candy bowls or dessert trays out on tabletops and counters may seem like a nice gesture for your guests, but it could pose a tempting danger to your pets looking for a snack. Many popular holiday treats include ingredients that are toxic to pets. Ingredients such as chocolate, macadamia nuts, walnuts, raisins, xylitol, and more could cause a pet poisoning. Be sure to keep the holiday snacks in a closed container, and behind cabinet or refrigerator doors.

Reduce Your Pet’s Stress

Holiday visitors and loud parties may be a cause of anxiety and stress for your pets. Create a calm space for your pets to escape to when visitors are around. Bring their bed, some blankets, and their favorite toys into another room away from the people and noise. Providing a space for your pets to unwind and relax away from guests will help them reduce their stress.
The holidays are a fun time of year, but they can also be stressful! Let the team at Town and Country Animal Hospital help you and your pets prepare for a safe holiday and a healthy new year. Give us a call at (256) 232-0689 for more tips on pet safety this holiday season.