Welcome back! While the holidays are a wonderful time to spend with friends and loved ones, it can also be a dangerous time for our four-legged family members. In part one of our blog series, we began looking at some useful tips that you can follow to keep your pets healthy, safe, and happy during this magical season. Our first round of safety tips focused on the dangers of festive plants and trees and holiday decorations, so we recommend reading part one before continuing on with part two.

The holidays are a special time for getting together with friends and family to share in joyful laughter and for toasting festive beverages, as work parties and other social events bring people closer together as they share in the spirit of the holidays. Because many pet parents will be hosting holiday parties and opening their homes to guests visiting from out of town, here are some tips to follow for being mindful of your pet’s safety and wellness during all of these fun social events.

Pet-Friendly Holiday Get-Togethers

For those pet owners who will be hosting holiday parties this season, there are a few things to keep in mind with regard to your pet’s safety and comfort levels are people and loud noises.

  • You’ll want to first make sure that your dog is comfortable around other people, particularly in large groups. For some pups, they experience anxiety when there’s a lot going on around them, especially when they aren’t used to being around so many people at once.
  • Consider how they may react to loud music. Dogs have sensitive ears and loud music can frighten them or harm their hearing. While you’ll likely be playing all the best holiday tunes, try to avoid blasting music at high levels, and be cautious when playing music with extreme bass. Some dogs are sensitive to intense bass beats, which can make them feel nervous and uncomfortable.
  • For dogs who are not as comfortable in social situations, you may want to establish a quiet, comfortable area for them hang out in while you’re having guests over. Just make sure to check on them frequently, ensuring they have enough water, toys, and bathroom breaks.
  • Party favors are popular holiday party items, but these can also scare your pets and could even damage their hearing. If party favors are a must, avoid getting noisemakers and poppers, and be mindful to pick up any used party favors that could become choking hazards or cause your dog or cat to experience gastrointestinal issues.

Celebratory Adult Beverages

Nothing encourages holiday merrymaking more than fizzy beers, bubbly champagne, and festive cocktails. While many assume that dogs love beer (which, they do), and that beer is safe for pups to consume in small amounts, their bodies are actually not equipped to process alcohol. Their kidneys are not able to filter and process beer, wine, and liquor, so alcohol is actually toxic to both dogs and cats. When pets take a taste of alcoholic beverages, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, respiratory failure, and may suffer more severe symptoms and even death if they consume large amounts of alcohol. Keep those holiday drinks out of reach from pets, especially when your drink is left unattended.

Playing Host to Out of Town Guests

If you’ll be having guests staying with you for the holidays, make sure they understand the house rules when it comes to your pets. For instance, you’ll want to make it clear to your visitors that they should not feed your pets any human foods that have not been approved by you. While some veggies and fruits like carrots and apples are perfectly safe for your dog, others are incredibly toxic. It’s best to tell them that there is absolutely no feeding your pets human food or scraps from the table, just to be safe. Also, make sure your guests keep the door to their room shut to avoid your pet getting into their belongings. You never know how easily accessible a person’s medications may be. What’s more, this will also protect your guest’s belongings in case you have a curious cat or dog. Be sure to let your guests know whether or not your cat is allowed outdoors, and if your dog needs to be taken outside on a leash (this may be the case for those without a fenced yard or who live in multi-family housing).

Join us next time for the conclusion of our holiday safety blog series, where we’ll explore some tips regarding holiday food safety. If you would like to schedule your pet for a wellness exam before your guests arrive, need to reserve a spot for your pup in doggy daycare, or if you have a pet emergency over the holidays, call Eagle Animal Hospital and Pet Resort. Our team animal care professionals are here to care for your furry family member during the holidays and year round.