Part of having a happy holiday is being sure that we keep our loved ones safe and sound. Our pets are no exception. Pay attention to the following do’s and don’ts to keep your pets merry and bright this holiday season.

Holiday Do’s and Don’ts

DO make sure to familiarize yourself with holiday plants that can be toxic, including mistletoe, lilies, and holly. Be sure to keep these plants well out of the reach of curious pets or do not let them in the house at all.

DON’T decorate with items that can be hazardous to your pets. Tinsel is extremely tempting for cats and can be ingested. Glass ornaments and metal hooks can also pose a risk if chewed on or swallowed.

XmasCatDO be sure to secure your holiday guests’ belongings in a closed closet or bedroom. Nosey pets can find dangerous things such as prescription medications or Xylitol-sweetened gums or mints in coat pockets.

DON’T leave your trash can in an area accessible to your pets. Holiday discards such as yeast dough, bones, and ribbon can be very dangerous, and pets that overindulge are at risk for digestive upset and more serious conditions such as pancreatitis.

DO be sure that your pet has a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Extra visitor traffic can leave some pets feeling overwhelmed. Be sure that they can retreat to a crate or favorite bed in a quiet, secluded location.

DON’T leave candles or other open flames unattended or in areas that pets can easily get to. Curious critters can be burned by fire or hot wax.

DO make certain that all identification tag and microchip information is current. It is not uncommon for anxious or excited pets to slip out the door as visitors come to spread holiday cheer. Make sure that your pet can find his or her way back home if this should happen.

DON’T share your holiday treats with your pets. Chocolate, macadamia nuts, grapes/raisins, and Xylitol-sweetened treats can be extremely dangerous to pets. Buy them their own special treats instead.

DO keep your pet emergency contact information close at hand. If you are travelling, find an emergency vet clinic in the area where you will be. You never know when you might need it.

Above all, happy holidays to you and your furry family!