Holiday Pet Safety

Happy Holidays! Although 2020’s holiday season may not be as hectic as most years are, there will still be plenty of seasonal events and activities going on. At this time of year, many of our furry patients have their ‘frisky’ settings dialed in at a 10. Here, a Rockville, MD veterinarian offers some tips on keeping your four-legged buddy safe and sound over the holidays.


Fluffy and Fido will be very, very interested in those delicious holiday foods. You can certainly give your furry pal something extra special! Just stick with things you know are safe. While every type of pet is a bit different, there are some things that are unsafe for most of them. That list includes garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; grapes, currants, and raisins; chocolate; avocado; meat on the bone; raw dough or yeast; caffeine; alcohol; pitted fruits; and anything that contains xylitol or a lot of salt, sugar, or fat.


Keep your little buddy in mind as you put up decorations. Anything small or sharp can be hazardous, as are items that run on batteries or electrical power. Keep things like pine needles and ornament hooks off the floor. These can cause serious internal injuries if swallowed! Candles, potpourri burners, and fireplaces are dangerous as well.


Trees can also be dangerous to playful pets. We recommend covering the water bowl, as it could be contaminated by things like fertilizers, pesticides, and fire retardants. Lights, tinsel, ribbons, and garlands all pose serious choking and strangling risks. Hooks and sharp ornaments can also cause injuries.


Did you know that many popular holiday plants, such as poinsettia, holly, and ivy, are toxic to pets? If you use real ones, put them in spots your four-legged friend can’t reach.


Fluffy and Fido feel safest when they are on a steady schedule for things like naps, meals, snuggles, playtime, and, for dogs, walks. Disruptions to those routines can make pets anxious and uneasy. Other potential sources of stress include things like traveling, loud noises, decorations, and even visitors. If the holidays stress you out, your fuzzy pal may also pick up on your uneasiness. Pay some extra attention to your furry friend. (Some extra toys and treats won’t hurt, either.)

As your Rockville, MD veterinary clinic, we want to wish you all a wonderful, safe, and healthy holiday season. Contact us anytime!  

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