Pet Safety for the Holidays

The holidays are here, a joyful, exciting time of year. However, it is also when over 160 million of the nation’s dogs and cats are most vulnerable to accidents in the home.

Fires, burns and poisoning are just a few of the emergencies that tend to increase during the holiday season when people are more focused on gift-giving and party planning than pet safety. To help families keep pets safer while better managing the excitement of the holidays, remember these important holiday pet safety tips recommended by pet safety experts to help ensure a happy, stress-free holiday:

Affix a pet alert window cling. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that home fires increase considerably during holidays. Help keep your pets safe by attaching a static window cling to a front window and keep it updated with information about the animals in your home. This can save rescuers time locating your pets in an emergency.

Provide monitored fire and carbon monoxide alarms. Just like humans, pets are susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning from improperly ventilated heating sources, yet they cannot escape by themselves if no one is home. Fire and carbon monoxide monitoring from a reputable security company means that trained operators are always available to alert first responders to help keep pets safe especially during the holiday season when many families are away from home.

Secure young pets. Holiday curiosity really can kill the cat. Young pets can be particularly curious about new sights, sounds and smells. Keep young pets away from areas of your home that contain pet safety hazards–this includes the kitchen, where pets can easily get hold of potentially toxic foods such as bread, raisins and baking chocolate.

Holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly, lilies and pine needles can not only be harmful to your pet’s stomach, they can cause kidney failure, seizures and cardiovascular problems in both cats and dogs if ingested.

Extinguish open flames, secure fireplaces. Always supervise pets near lit candles and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flames before leaving the room. Make sure you have a sturdy screen in front of your fireplace to keep curious pets away from fires and hot ashes.

Keep pets away from Christmas tree water. Christmas trees can be major holiday pet safety hazards. Chemicals diluted in water to preserve trees can be toxic for pets; the stagnant water can also make them sick.

Keep dangerous decorations out of reach. Breakable items such as glass ornaments, electrical cords, heated bulbs, hooks and a wide variety of other decorative items can be tempting “toys” for pets, but they can also be serious holiday pet safety risks. Consider wood or plastic ornaments as alternatives. 

These easy, do-it-yourself holiday pet safety tips can help you make your home festive for friends and family and safe for pets at the same time.

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