The first holiday season with your new pet is bound to be one you’ll remember forever. From holiday feasts to visits with Santa, there are many ways to cherish the season with your new furry friend. While we want you and your newly adopted pet to enjoy all the season has to offer, we also want to make sure you keep holiday pet safety in mind so everyone can enjoy the season without issue.
First, a Safe Space
Whether your new pet is too young to have enjoyed the holidays before this year or it’s simply their first time experiencing the season with their new family, one of the most important things you can do is offer a quiet, safe space for them. Crate training before the holidays are in full swing helps you ensure that your pets have a safe space to escape from the seasonal frenzy to regroup and avoid stress.
Same Time, Same Place
The honeymoon phase between a pet owner and their new best friend is most successful with an established routine. Maintaining this routine is incredibly important to your pet’s state of mind as you go into the holidays, and may even make your approach to holiday pet safety more attainable. If you always go on a morning walk, for example, be sure to schedule some for it in between holiday engagements and meal preparation.
The Urge to Flee
Many new pets don’t know what to make of all the commotion at family dinners, gift-giving exchanges, and holiday cocktail parties. Sometimes this anxiety flips on your pet’s fight or flight instinct, and they might try to bolt through a constantly opening/closing front door.
Please ensure your new pet has a collar with ID tags and that you’ve registered their new microchip with your contact information to reduce the chances of total separation.
Before attending any gathering, thoroughly exercise your pet, feed them, and ensure they have lots of water throughout the evening. Always have your leash handy, and walk them when you notice signs of anxiety, aggression, or fear.
Speaking of Parties…
If your new pet is going to make an appearance at a holiday party, be sure to consider potential dangers. Holiday pet safety must include the following tactics to reduce poisoning, choking, entanglement, and other life-threatening problems:
- Do not allow your pet to eat from the table. Holiday food is typically rich, fatty, and decadent, which can cause serious problems to any animal’s GI tract.
- Raisins, onions, chocolate, alcohol, certain nuts, coffee, Xylitol, and more are toxic to pets.
- Presents wrapped with ribbon or string must be off the floor at all times, preferably stored until it’s time to open gifts. Tinsel poses similar risks. Be sure to throw away any discarded wrapping paper before your pet can eat some.
- Many festive plants, like poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe, are highly toxic to pets.
Holiday Pet Safety + Fun!
Don’t forget to have fun this holiday season! Your pet will relish the opportunity to eat homemade biscuits or treats, play with new toys, cuddle up during a holiday movie marathon, and go for walks in the snow.