Thanksgiving may have come and gone, but the holidays are a time of festivities, food, and fun. With that comes potential hazards for our furry family members. Here are some things to consider before sharing that turkey dinner or hanging those decorations.

Say NO to Table Foods & Scraps

Foods high in fat and spices are dangerous to pets and can cause stomach irritation. Bones, especially cooked poultry bones, become brittle and shatter easily. They can lead to choking, obstruction, constipation, and possible intestinal and rectal piercing.  Keep chocolates and anything sweetened with xylitol out of their reach. Onions and garlic are also toxic to dogs and cats. 

Forget the Mistletoe & Holly

Holly and mistletoe, when ingested, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even cardiovascular problems. Opt for artificial holiday plants made of silk, plastic, or pet-friendly materials instead. If you have a tree, make sure it is properly stabilized so that it cannot fall over on your dog or cat. If you have a live tree, be sure pets cannot access the water under your tree -  stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and some tree fertilizers can cause stomach upset, as well. 

Sparkly Decorations

Never leave lit candles unattended with pets or otherwise. Pets can burn themselves or possibly start fires by knocking candles over. Tinsel is beautiful, but this sparkly, light-catching "toy" is potentially dangerous for cats, especially if swallowed.  

Prevent injuries

Keep electrical cords, batteries, and ornaments out of reach, especially with puppies and kittens.  Wires can deliver potentially lethal shocks, and a punctured battery can damage your pet's mouth and esophagus. If swallowed or chewed, breakable ornament shards can damage your pet's mouth or digestive tract.

Travel safely

If you're traveling, always have your pet's vaccine documents handy, as well as, a rabies or identity tag on your pet. Don't trust your pet in a new surrounding. A new environment can sometimes cause your pet fear and anxiety. Bring something that smells like home to help them feel more comfortable. 

Party Time

Holiday parties can be overwhelming for humans and pets alike. If you have guests over, be sure to give your pet a quiet, safe space with water and bedding where they can rest away from all the hubbub. If alcoholic beverages are being served at your party, make sure they are out of reach of pets. If ingested, your pet could be come weak, ill, comatose, or even go into respiratory failure. Whilst ringing in the New Year, remember that poppers and noise makers can scare pets and possibly damage their hearing. Confetti strings can also be dangerous, if ingested. 

Remember to be safe and have fun this holiday season!