Keeping Pets Safe during the Holidays

The holidays are a festive time, with all the joy of giving at Christmas and the excitement of ushering in a new year, it’s a time when you, your family and friends, can gather together. This time of year would be complete without plenty of food and decorations, and no one can resist including those adorable furry family members. Americans love their pets, so much so that we’ll spend nearly $60 billion by the end of this year.

Selling Your Home during the Holiday Season

If you’re selling your home and you have pets, unfortunately, you are faced with a disadvantage that doesn’t dog your competition who don’t have pets in their homes. Sure, many buyers do have pets themselves, but just like children, they aren’t their fur family members. Dogs and cats are generally viewed by soon-to-be homeowners as a negative, because there’s bound to be damage lurking somewhere inside the home.

“Keeping your furry family members safe during the holidays can be a difficult task. There are the ornaments, plants, presents, lights — oh, and who could forget the Christmas tree (if do you decide to put one up this year)?” —Pet

One thing you ought to do is remove any signs of your pets, which include photos, toys, beds, bowls, and everything else. Keep them at a neighbor’s home or let them stay the day at a family member’s home during open houses, because they’ll be an unwanted distraction as guests tour your property. This also goes for children, not that you don’t love them, but guests seeing your property don’t want to deal with kids and might even feel guilty about the fact the home is on the market.

How to Keep Pets Safe during the Holidays

Pet parents like to include their furry friends in all the holiday cheer, which can be a huge mistake. Everyone knows about the dangers of chocolate to dogs and cats, but another dangerous substance is xylitol, a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener. In addition to these being kept away from pets, do these things as well:

  • Secure your Christmas tree. Your tree should be secured in-place, because if it falls on your dog or cat, it could cause injuries which can range in severity from just scrapes to crippling.
  • Keep tinsel and lights out of reach. Such shinny things are hard to resist, especially for the most curious of cats and these can be quite dangerous. Tinsel can cause nausea and even choking, while lights might burst if batted, leaving tiny glass shards scattered about.
  • Forgo the mistletoe and holly. Mistletoe can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, while holly is a source for causing gastrointestinal problems and even cardiovascular problems. Lilies are dangerous to cats, causing kidney failure.
  • Don’t feed pets leftovers. Though it’s tempting when those big eyes tease, leftovers are rife with dangers, from tiny bones, to fatty foods, to spicy foods, all of which might be cause for an unscheduled trip to the vet’s office.
  • Keep alcoholic beverages at bay. Some pets might be tempted by the aroma of cocktails and other alcoholic beverages, and ingest drink which can lead to dizziness, weakness, and even put them at risk for falling into a coma. The most severe result in respiratory failure, which of course, can easily be fatal.
  • Be careful with candles. The dancing light from candles might be too tempting to pass up and that can lead to disaster. Never leave candles burning unattended, as these are one of the largest sources of fires.
  • Keep wires away. We all know the dogs and cats use their little mouths to explore things, particularly puppies and kittens. Those wires powering your twinkling tree lights can be a source of electrical shock.
  • Don’t leave medications lying about. If you have family staying over, and one is on prescription medication, be sure to keep it out of reach from your pets and children.
  • Give your pets a getaway. Because holidays tend to be overly busy with people coming and going, along with celebratory moments, all these can be stressful to your pets. Dedicate a room or space that provides a quiet escape and plenty of comfort.

When it’s time to count down the clock and ring in the New Year, you don’t want to start with a tragedy, so, don’t drop confetti, which can be ingested and cause problems. In addition, keep in mind that pets have sensitive ears, their hearing can be damaged by loud noises.