A puppy sitting in a Christmas basket

For many pet parents, celebrating the holidays with pets is one of the highlights of the season. Pets are like family, and it’s hard to imagine not including them in as many aspects of our revelry as possible.

Whether you are trying to find the perfect gift for Fido or are wondering how to keep Fluffy safe around all those decorations, we’ve got you covered with our simple guidelines for safe and fun holidays with pets.

Avoiding Holiday Mishaps

  • With so much food available during the holiday season, it’s easy for pets to be given (or sneak) food from the table. Unfortunately, many common holiday foods can cause accidental poisoning or a serious inflammatory condition known as pancreatitis. Play it safe and keep table scraps away from pets, and encourage guests to do the same.
  • Many of the decorations that make our homes sparkle during the holiday season pose a risk of serious injury to curious pets. Electric cords can cause entanglement, strangulation, or electric shock if chewed on, and should be tacked high out of reach or bundled and tied together.
  • Christmas trees fascinate pets, but pets incur serious injuries related to trees every year. For your furry friend’s safety, not to mention the preservation of your hard decorating work, securely anchor your tree to prevent it from falling and keep glass or breakable ornaments on the highest branches where pets can’t reach them. Similarly, avoid the use of tinsel and other string-like items, as they can cause choking or intestinal blockage if ingested by pets.
  • Many holiday plants, including mistletoe, English ivy, holly, narcissus, and amaryllis, are toxic to pets and should be kept out of reach. Poinsettia is actually the least toxic of the seasonal plant lot, but should still be kept away from pets since mild stomach upset could occur if eaten.
  • A houseful of guests can overwhelm even the friendliest pet. Provide your pet with a quiet out-of-the-way spot (furnished with water, bedding, and other comforts) to escape the holiday madness.

What’s Under the Tree for Me?

It would be hard to include your four-legged-family members in your holiday celebrations without giving them gifts, but with so many pet products on the market it can be hard to choose just one or two (or more!). Let us help you with a list of our favorite useful, safe, and fun pet gifts:

  • Kong toys are nearly indestructible, and come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties depending on your pet’s preferences and playing style.
  • Environmental enrichment is an important part of your pet’s well-being, and you can provide this for him or her in the form of food puzzlesslow feeder bowls, and DIY pet games.
  • Give your fur friend the gift of health with a new pet toothbrush and pet-safe toothpaste in his or her stocking. Or better yet, make an appointment for a professional dental exam and cleaning.
  • A little baggie of homemade dog or cat treats is a wonderful way to show your pet how much you care.
  • Does your pampered pet already have everything he or she needs and wants? Consider donating to a local shelter or rescue organization in your pet’s name, or add to your family by adopting or fostering a homeless pet.

Celebrating Holidays with Pets

In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the main event of the holidays, it’s easy to overlook our furry friends. Take some time for your pet each day, whether it’s a walk through the ‘hood to check out the holiday lights, a snowy game of fetch, or a laser pointer session by the fire.

Time spent together is a wonderful reminder of the love that surrounds us during the holidays and the rest of the year.

Happy holidays from all of us at The Bluffs Pet Clinic!