Pet Safety Tips for After the Holidays

The holiday season poses many dangers to cats, dogs, birds and other pets, and many pet owners do take precautions to avoid injury or loss of a pet during the actual holiday celebrations. But many owners fail to realize that many dangers remain, even after the celebration has ended.

Keep Your Pet Out of the Trash

High-fat food scraps (like fat trimmings) can cause pancreatitis. Gift wrap items like ribbons and bows can pose a strangulation hazard. Bits of plastic from product packaging can be an appealing chew-toy for a dog, but the plastic bits can cause serious digestive problems and sharp bits of plastic can cut the dog’s mouth and face.

Therefore, it’s important to keep your dog or cat out of the trash can! Place trash bags with holiday food scraps, ribbons and bows, and other potentially dangerous items in your outdoor trash receptacle.

Store Chocolate and Candy Out of Reach

Chocolate is toxic to dogs, so be sure to keep holiday candies stored in a cabinet or pantry closet. Don’t leave a box of candy or fudge on the countertop and don’t leave a filled candy bowl on the end table.

In addition, remember that many sugar-free candies and gums contain xylitol, which is toxic to pets. So check any candy gifts that you’ve received to ensure they don’t contain xylitol. If they do, store them in a location where the pet cannot access the candy (e.g. in a tin in the pantry closet.)

Keep Power Cords and Christmas Lights Out of Reach

As you’re plugging in your new appliances and the like, be sure to run the cord in a location where the pet cannot access it. This will prevent your cat or dog from chewing on the cord, and it can also save your pet from an injury if he or she accidentally snags a cord, pulling the appliance, light, etc. off the counter, table or other surface and onto the floor.

Of course, you should also ensure that your other holiday-related safety precautions are still in place, including:

  • No glass ornaments in the lower portion of the tree (a pet may bump into or swat a low-lying glass ornament, causing it to fall and break. The broken glass can lead to injury.)
  • No tinsil or garland on your tree (this can cause deadly digestive tract problems.)
  • Ensure the tree is still tethered (this is especially important on a real tree, as if it falls over, a broken Christmas light is more likely to start a fire as the tree dries out.)

For more pet tips, visit PetLvr’s archives!

Photo Source: Wong Mei Teng on

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Mia Carter is a professional journalist and animal lover. Her furry family members include 6 dogs and 12 cats. She is also a feral cat colony caretaker. Carter specializes in pet training and special needs pet care. All of her animals have special needs such as paralysis, blindness, deafness and FIV, just to name a few. She also serves as a pet foster parent and she actively rehabilitates and rescues local strays and feral kittens.

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