Happy Holidays from your friends at Eagle Animal Hospital and Pet Resort! While this is one of our favorite seasons, we understand the hazards that the holidays pose for pets of all kinds, which can be stressful for you as your pet’s guardian. As pet parents, you want nothing but the best for your pets all the time. While their health and well-being are of the utmost importance year-round, it is essential to be especially mindful and vigilant during the holidays to help reduce any risk of injury and stress caused to your pet. Here are some tips you can follow to help ensure your pet’s health and happiness this holiday season.

Ways to Make the Holidays Safer for Your Pets

From preventing toxicity to giving your pet a comfortable place to be when guests arrive, use these helpful pet care tips to guide you through a safe holiday season.

Avoid Holiday Food Dangers

From common recipe ingredients and sweet treats to extravagant holiday meals, there’s a lot to be aware of when it comes to food dangers for pets. Definitely keep the following foods out of paw’s reach, and whatever you do, do not feed them harmful foods that could cause an array of health problems for your pet.

Fruits and Veggies to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

These food items can cause moderate to severe health issues for dogs and cats, including digestive issues, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, and even seizures. 

Avoid feeding them these directly and don’t give them any people food that contains these ingredients: 

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Avocados
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Other toxic foods

Skip Giving Them Table Scraps

Eating small, moderate, or high amounts of sodium, fried foods, and fatty foods can cause many different health problems for both dogs and cats. Skip feeding them any table scraps and avoid giving them fatty trimmings and bones, which are especially dangerous to pets.

These harmful foods could cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stomach perforation
  • Pain
  • Constipation
  • Choking

Be Mindful of Sweet Holiday Treats

From cookies to candy to chocolate and anything containing artificial sweeteners, it is best to avoid feeding your pet foods and treats containing sugar. Xylitol, the main ingredient in artificial sweeteners, has been linked to serious health problems in both dogs and cats when ingested. Their digestive systems simply weren’t designed to process sweets, with the exception of certain sweet fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, apples, and cantaloupe. 

Keep holiday sweets and treats out of paw’s and mouth’s reach, and always avoid feeding them any sweet treats, as these can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Liver failure
  • Death

Be Aware of Dangerous Festive Plants & Flowers

Festive plants bring a little extra holiday cheer into the home, but some types pose a serious threat to dogs and cats if ingested. These symptoms include mouth irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, belly pain, and toxicity that could become fatal if not treated in time. 

Here are some of the most dangerous holiday plants to be aware of, and to just avoid putting in your home if you have pets. 

  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Lilies
  • Poinsettias 
  • Amaryllis
  • Pine needles

*If you think your pet ingested something toxic, call our Client Care team at (816) 239-1919, or the 24-hour Animal Poison Control Hotline at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Practice Good Judgment with Holiday Trees, Lights, Decorations, and Candles

Let’s face it, pets are curious and often clumsy creatures. That’s why you will want to be especially careful with all of your holiday decorations, including trees, lights, tinsel, and candles.

Here are some tips for you to consider: 

  • Anchor your Christmas tree down to prevent it from tipping over or falling onto your pet. Be sure to avoid adding fertilizer to the tree water, and change the water daily to prevent bacteria from growing, just in case your pet sneaks a drink from the tree water bowl. 
  • Say “goodbye” to tinsel if you have cats. Tinsel is sparkly and attractive to our feline friends, and if they decide to nibble on it, it could become a choking hazard and a health threat. What’s more, your cat could easily become tangled in tinsel if they decide to play with it, which could become a choking hazard.
  • If you have pets, never leave candles burning when you leave a room or aren’t at home. A candle’s flickering flame is especially attractive to curious cats, and dogs can easily knock over a lit candle with one wag of their tail. 
  • Be mindful of electrical cords and wires that power your lights and decorations. If your pet chews on them, it could seriously injure their mouth, face, and could even electrocute them.

Plan Pet-friendly Holiday Gatherings

Practice good judgment when planning holiday get-togethers, always keeping your pet’s well-being in mind. Sometimes it’s better to take your dog or cat to a pet resort if they get scared or anxious around people, loud noises, and increased commotion. 

Follow these tips when hosting festive gatherings:

  • Make sure your guests know the house rules for your pet (i.e., no feeding them table scraps or alcohol, etc.).
  • Keep food and beverages out of paw’s reach.
  • Open and close entranceway doors quickly and securely to prevent a pet escape.
  • Give your pet a safe zone where they can relax comfortably away from the commotion and noise.
  • Be careful with party favors that could pose health risks and become choking hazards to pets.

Connect with Your Top Rated Local® Animal Hospital in Riverside

Whether you want to schedule a vet exam for your pet, you want to inquire about doggie daycare for the holidays, or you need to reserve a spot for your dog or cat at our pet resort, we are happy to assist you. You can even use our Telemedicine portal to schedule a virtual vet appointment! Contact our Client Care team to arrange your visit to our Top Rated Local® animal hospital and pet resort in Kansas City, where we treat your pets as if they are our own. From all of us at Eagle Animal Hospital, we wish you and your pet a safe, healthy, and happy holiday.

If you want to watch handy pet care tips and more, be sure to subscribe to the Eagle Animal Hospital and Pet Resort YouTube channel. Here, you can stay up-to-date on all of our animal hospital and pet boarding services, and watch insightful, entertaining videos that offer tips and tricks to help ensure your pet lives a healthy and happy life.