If you’ve been waiting all year, the season of giving is finally here. Plates of goodies, boughs of greenery, and late night revelry have arrived in full force – and we guarantee your pet has taken notice.

While the holidays are wonderful when shared with those we love, certain holiday foods can place your pet in a dangerous situation. Avoid giving the gift that no one wants (like, say, a pet emergency) with our quick guide to holiday pet safety.

The Long View

A good rule of thumb during the holidays is to stick to your pet’s routine as much as possible, keeping mealtimes and portions the same. Exercise is a fantastic antidote to seasonal stress, anxiety, or excitement, and it’s healthy for both of you!

Weight gain plagues pets the way it does people around this time of year. For us, it’s not uncommon to gain 5 to 10 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s, roughly the equivalent to an extra pound for a pet (and that’s a lot!).

Sharing your holiday foods with Fido may seem like a good way to show your love, but the extra calories can have dangerous consequences. If you decide to include your pet in all the delicious holiday fare (we have some healthy suggestions below), be sure to scale back regular meal portions accordingly.

What to Avoid at All Costs

It’s ironic that the same ingredients we use so much during the holidays are the same ones that could cause a pet poisoning, GI problem, or pancreatitis. Effective holiday pet safety rules dictate that pets should never be allowed to eat the following:

  • Gravy
  • Fatty meat
  • Bones
  • Animal skin
  • Any rich, fatty, buttery dishes (think casseroles)
  • Chocolate
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raisins or grapes
  • Onion, garlic, or sage
  • Baked goods sweetened with Xylitol
  • Coffee
  • Raw yeasted dough
  • Alcohol

It’s Not All Off Limits

Fortunately, you can still include your pet while preparing the meal or enjoying it at the table. Feeding your pet involved these healthy “treats” will minimize begging:

  • Lightly steamed spinach and carrots
  • Bite-sized raw apple cubes
  • Steamed, plain sweet potato
  • Steamed green beans
If you’re hosting or visiting family and friends this year, we also encourage you to consider boarding your pet with us. Please call with any questions or to check on availability.

Score With Holiday Pet Safety

There are few things better than a good snuggle with your pet after a meaningful holiday celebration. After all, your pet’s mere presence and devoted companionship makes every day more enjoyable. Sit back, enjoy those nice feelings, and revel in the fact that you stuck to your holiday pet safety measures!