Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Keep Pets Safe during the Holidays

"Tis the season to be jolly!" We all want to feel that way during the holidays, including your pet. Whether you own a dog, cat, bird, or ferret, make sure you pet proof your home during all the holiday festivities. You would be surprised the things your pet can get into when the house is decorated and all kinds of special foods are prepared.

Last Christmas, I thought my 11 year old beagle, Hunter, was old enough not to really have to worry about him during Christmas dinner. After all, he had been around for 10 Christmas's before this without an incident. My whole family was all seated around the dining room table for Christmas dinner when there was a crash and scuffling from the kitchen. I jumped up and on the floor was the pecan pie I had baked the day before. My beagle had already gulped down half the pie, whipped cream and all. By the time I reached him, the whole pie was gone! This all happened within about 30 seconds.

Well, Hunter looked at me with his big brown eyes, whipped cream on the bottom of his floppy ears, and I couldn't get angry with him, after all, it was Christmas. About 10 minutes later, his belly was bloated and he vomited the entire pie back up again. It was not too appealing to the rest of the family trying to eat Christmas dinner. Hunter was miserable for the rest of the day, just lying on his bed with a look of despair in his eyes.

This is only one example of what a pet can get into during the holidays. Fortunately, his stomach misery only lasted a day, but there are many other dangers to watch for when decorating and preparing for the holidays.

Cats love sleeping under Christmas trees, and sometimes climbing them. Make sure your tree is secure, unable to fall over on top of your pet. You will also want to be careful of glass ornaments, as they can shatter easily and your pet could cut a paw or even eat the shards of glass. This is especially likely if you make homemade cookie ornaments. Your dog can't tell the difference between a dog biscuit and a cookie ornament hanging on your tree. One lunge at the tree after a cookie ornament, and chaos will break loose.

Also, be careful of feeding your pet leftovers. If you do, double-check for turkey skewers and small bones. Either one of these things could lodge in your pet's stomach or intestines causing life threatening conditions.

These are only a few of the many hazards the holidays can present to your pet. If you are careful, and pet proof your home, all of you will have a happy holiday. Happy Holidays to all of you and your precious pets.


  1. Well, we made it through Christmas without Hunter eating another pecan pie! Even our cat, Lucky behaved herself. They each got their own treats in their stockings, enjoying them while the humans ate dinner.

  2. I guess I'm not the only one. My daughter told me her friend's dog ate a whole lemon meringue pie last week!!