Pet Safety for the Holidays

by BrendaReeves

Pet lovers like to indulge their pets during the holidays. Love your pet by keeping it safe this season.

Pet lovers love their pets more than themselves. We feed them holiday fare. We buy them holiday gifts. We even feed them food that is bad for them, but it's done out of love. All of that love can kill your pet or make it very sick. Make pet safety for the holidays a priority this year. Your pet will love you for it.

Safety Tips

Avoid feeding your cat or dog scraps that consist of rich turkey, duck or goose parts. These fatty, rich foods can be extremely harmful to your pet's health. The change in diet can lead to very upsetting and dangerous digestive problems. You don't want to spend your Thanksgiving on an emergency trip to the veterinarian's office and neither does your veterinarian. To avoid feeling guilty, feed your pet its normal pet food before you sit down to feast. Put it outside or lock it in another room so you and your guests won't feel the need to toss it a turkey treat under the table.

Tips for Food Safety

If you insist on having your dog stay for the festivities, keep food covered and away from table edges. Assign someone to supervise the table until everyone sits down to eat.

I reiterate: Keep your food safe. One Thanksgiving I left the turkey unsupervised on the table, fresh out of the oven and unsupervised: Our basset hound, Irv, burst through the doggy door, galloped through the kitchen into the dining room and in one fell swoop, grabbed our bird, made a U-turn and sped out the doggy door with a 25 lb. turkey in his mouth.

Can Dogs Have Turkey Bones

No! Don’t give your pets animal bones! Cooked turkey, duck, geese and other bird bones are dangerous to your pet. They are hollow and break and splinter easily. Also, because they are so easily breakable, dogs usually won’t chew them thoroughly. The results are sharp pieces that can choke the dog or block, puncture or tear the intestines.

Remember, what's good for the dog is also good for the cat.


Toxic Food

  • Onions and onion powder
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Chocolate

Onions and onion powder, often used in stuffing, will destroy your dog or cat's red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage to both dogs and cats. Chocolate can actually be fatal to your dog or cat; so all those sweets must be kept well out of reach.

Pet Stress

Keep your animal calm and unstressed while people are over. Running children, the happy chatter of relatives and a football game in the background can overwhelm pets, and they may become snappy or stressed. To insure that your pets have a great time too, consider giving them their own space away from people, feed them away from children, strangers or loud noises, and take them for a nice long walk before guests arrive to help expend that energy and get them calm.

Pet Safety

Watch those four legged friends while cooking. Sometimes animals under foot can create a disaster when carrying that large bowl of gravy. Keep all your pets out of the kitchen and away from the hustle and bustle. Also, watch cats around open oven doors. That warm hiding place can call to a cat and end your Thanksgiving celebration at the Animal Hospital.

Holiday Parades

Leave your pets safe at home when attending holiday parades and festivities. Though floats, large balloons and crowds can be a blast for your family, they can send your dog into an anxious or even aggressive state. Leave your dog at home where it is safe and comfortable.

One fourth of July, a friend took her seven year old sheltie to the community fireworks. When the fireworks began, the dog became frightened, pulled out of its collar and ran off never to be seen again.

As always, make sure your pets always wear their collars with so they are easily identifiable.

Fire Safety

Fire hazards large or small can cause problems. From candles to the fireplace, fire can be a serious hazard to your pet. Keep a screen up in front of your fireplace to protect your pet from the flames and embers. Keep the candles where the pet can't get to them. The dancing flame of a candle can be very tempting to your pet and wax spills burn.

Updated: 09/20/2012, BrendaReeves
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katiem2 on 11/15/2012

Exactly, It's so odd the things they eat. Most often things laying around the house you'd never imagine a cat or dog would eat. I have a pug that'll eat anything. He tried to eat a rock once. ..

BrendaReeves on 11/14/2012

My golden has been getting into my water color paper and eating it. Pets are like children.

katiem2 on 11/14/2012

Our cats play with ribbons, one cat actually begins eating them, not a good thing...

BrendaReeves on 11/03/2012

My golden retriever hides in the bathtub every time there are fireworks or thunder. Thanks for the comment.

2uesday on 11/03/2012

It is Guy Fawkes night on November 5th and that is when the most fireworks of the year are set off. The bangs are so loud that it is horrible for anyone with a nervous pet dog or cat. But a really nervous animal can suffer stress at any holiday time. I knew someone who had a cat that use to find the Christmas tree in the house a problem and would not enter the room it was in.

katiem2 on 09/23/2012

Me too as do my kids. It makes for a better holiday minus the stress and worry as to how our pets are doing at home alone or in the care of a professional pet care giver. :)K

BrendaReeves on 09/23/2012

Thanks for the comment. I worry about my pets like they are children.

katiem2 on 09/23/2012

Great pet tips Brenda. We always fret about what to do with our pets once we get the urge to travel, we both love to travel and our pets. This is very useful and helpful infor, much appreciated.

BrendaReeves on 09/21/2012

I could tell you the funniest story about when my cats tale did catch on fire. I wrote about it on a blog that I closed up. I'll see if I can find it;

dustytoes on 09/21/2012

I love to burn candles in winter and at Christmas but because of my one nosy cat, I have to be careful. I can just picture her running through the house with her tail on fire. Glad you mentioned that in the list of safety measures.

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