With the holidays quickly approaching, now would be the right time to think about how you can keep your furry friend safe during all the festivities. If you'll be celebrating the holidays with your pets, make sure you are doing what you can to keep them protected from potential hazards. This is the season for celebrating, so be proactive with your pets' care and enjoy the holidays with some peace of mind. Check out some holiday pet safety tips from our vet in Pima County!

Keep Mistletoe & Holly Away from Pets

Some holiday plants are poisonous to pets, like mistletoe and holly. When ingested, these plants can induce vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Mistletoe can also cause cardiovascular issues. Instead of having potentially harmful plants in the house for the holidays, go for some nice silk or plastic plants. They can help your home feel festive without posing the same risk to your pets! You should also keep an eye out for stray pine needles scattered around the floor of your tree. These can injure your pet if ingested, so try to clear those off the floor often. Fir tree oils can also be irritable for your pet's mouth and could lead to excessive drooling and vomiting. Try to keep your pet away from the tree if possible or keep it in a room that they don't have access to. Both real and artificial trees can be hazardous, so just keep an eye on your pet if they seem too interested in it.

Skip the Tinsel

Shiny, glimmering tinsel can be a beautiful addition to your holiday decorations, but it may also be dangerous for pets if ingested. Many cats are attracted to shiny things, and they may try to play with tinsel and possibly ingest it. Avoid any choking hazards posed by decorations by skipping the tinsel and securing any other tempting ornaments so that they can't be knocked down. Ingestion of tinsel can lead to a bowel obstruction, vomiting, dehydration, and may even require surgery to remove any blockages.

Secure Your Tree

Christmas trees should be secure in place so that a pet cannot easily knock it over. Find a way to anchor your tree down so that it does not accidentally fall and potentially hurt your pet. If you have a real tree, this will also help the tree water from spilling over. Tree water can contain bacteria and fertilizer, so keep your pets away from it. Ingestion of this water can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even infection. If you're worried about a curious pet drinking from the tree water, an artificial tree may be a better option for your home.

Practice Fire Safety

Many people enjoy lighting scented candles or sitting by the fire during the holiday season. You'll want to make sure that you are taking proper precautions when it comes to fire safety and your pets. Keep candles high up on countertops and away from coffee tables. Any curious cat may feel inclined to inspect a lit candle and could potentially hurt themselves or cause damage to your home. If you'll be using your fireplace, just make sure that your pet is a safe distance away and don't leave them unattended near the flames. Always make sure your fire is extinguished when you're done using it and keep all fire tools like lighters or fluids stored away.

Hide Wires

Pets may be tempted to chew on wires and cables from decorations which can potentially hurt them and cause damage to your home. Make sure wires are inaccessible to your pets by either hanging them out of reach or taping them to the floor. You can also apply a hard plastic wire covering to prevent your pet from chewing on the wires. Chewed wires can electrocute your pet or potentially cause serious burns to their mouth or esophagus.

Be Careful With Glass

Glass ornaments can easily be knocked over and broken, leaving both you and your pets at risk for injury. Try to keep glass to a minimum, and instead go for plastic or fabric ornaments. If you do choose to hang glass ornaments, make sure that they are too high for your pet to reach and that they are completely secure in place. Any broken glass could cut your pet, or it could be ingested leading to serious internal injuries.

Stick to Pet-Friendly Treats

Many pet owners like to share holiday foods with their pets to help celebrate the season. However, ingesting human food can cause serious digestion issues for your pet. A drastic change in diet could lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Some dishes may also contain things that could be dangerous for your pet to ingest. If you are unsure of the ingredients of a dish, do not give your pet any of it. You should also avoid giving them any sweets or desserts, because they may contain sugar substitutes that are fatal to pets. Stick to pet-friendly treats this holiday season to guarantee that your pet stays happy and healthy.

Choose Their Gifts Carefully

Not all pet toys are created equally, and some can pose a hazard to your pet. Some dental chew treats may be choking hazards for some pets. Make sure you are getting the appropriately sized treats based on your pet's size and age. You should also avoid getting them any toys with ribbons or feathers that could easily become choking hazards. Get a toy that is too big to swallow or something that is designed to be safely ingested. Don't just pick any toy as a stocking stuffer, make sure it's something that your pet will enjoy that won't lead to a medical bill!

Have Our Number on Speed Dial

Accidents happen and, unfortunately, there is not always a way to avoid a veterinary emergency. Make sure you have our number easily accessible so that you can give our vet in Pima County a call whenever you need us! The most important thing to do in a veterinary emergency is to stay calm and call us to alert us of the situation. We can help make sure that your pet gets the care they need when they need it. Ask our vet in Pima County for more information on how you can keep your pet safe this holiday season.