You know how excited your four-legged family members can get about the winter holidays. A time for celebration, lively decorations, and yummy foods, it’s like a feast for the senses for many of our pets. To make it a season of happiness and joy for all, create a space that’s festive—and pet-friendly! Here are six simple holiday pet safety tips to make your home very merry for everyone and super safe for your pets.
Opt for pet-safe plants.
Before you deck the halls with festive flora, keep in mind that some holiday plants are harmful to pets. However, there’s no need to get your tinsel in a tangle. Several options, like artificial plants or holiday cacti, majesty palms, and moth orchids, provide holiday cheer without the hazards. Place the plants in areas your pet can’t reach for added safety.
Above all, steer clear of plants that can be harmful to animals:
Scent your home with a homemade air freshener.
It wouldn’t be the perfect holiday without a scrumptious fragrance filling your home. Ditch the candles (and open flames) for a homemade air freshener instead. Cultivating that wintery aroma is quick and easy.
Pet-safe air freshener recipe
- 6 cups of water
- 2 sliced apples
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 drop of vanilla extract
- 3 cloves
Add the ingredients to a saucepan and let simmer over low heat until the water evaporates, then enjoy a naturally fresh-smelling dwelling.
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Use pet-friendly decorations.
Decorations transform your home into a magical wonderland—except curious pets love to play with all the things that look, feel, and smell like toys. Be mindful of the following when adorning your space:
- Tinsel, wrapping paper, and ribbons. With the crunch of the wrapping paper, the fringe of the tinsel, and the length of the ribbon, young dogs and cats often confuse gift-wrapping material for playthings. To refrain your pet from eating the stuff, go light on the gift-wrapping extras and hide flashy objects that may seem fun to Fido.
- Snow globes. Cool to behold but risky to eat, the liquid inside a snow globe has a sweet smell and is highly toxic. If the globe shatters or leaks and your pet ingests the liquid, call your vet right away.
- Ornaments. Appealing to people and pets, ornaments are small, round, and toy-like. Obviously used as decoration and not for food or to play with, hang them high and anchor them well so they don’t break and cause injuries.
- Christmas tree. Secure your Christmas tree so mischievous pets won’t tip it over. If you have a real tree, cover the reservoir so pets don’t mistake it for their drinking water.
Hide cords and batteries.
Power cords and batteries from twinkling lights and electronic trinkets can be hazardous. Check that your cables and batteries don’t look like enticing chew toys, and consider taping cords to walls, using cord protectors, or strategically placing furniture to cover cords. The more boring you can make your electronics appear, the better.
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Give safe treats and sweets only.
A delightful dinner for your holiday event is great for humans, but it's important to play it safe with what you feed your furry friends. Keep the cranberry sauce and chocolate away from little paws and try treating them with their own packaged goodies or unseasoned foods, like:
- Turkey meat
- Green beans
- Pumpkin purée
- Peanut butter
While sharing is caring, remember the golden rule: when in doubt, it's best not to share at all.
Create a calm retreat.
Crowded gatherings can be overwhelming for pets, particularly those who are shy or anxious. Arrange a quiet and safe space where they can retreat if the festivities and attention become too loud or too much. Make this hideout with their bed, toys, and familiar scents so they’re relaxed and comfortable away from the holiday hustle and bustle.
Have a Very Merry & Safe Holiday with Your Pets!
By following these six simple holiday pet safety tips, you can ensure a festive and joyful season for both your two-legged and four-legged family members. From choosing pet-safe plants to creating a calm retreat, these precautions will help you celebrate the holidays with peace of mind, knowing that your home is both merry and safe for your beloved pets. Embrace the season and make it a time of happiness for everyone, including your furry friends!