Whether you welcome the din of friends and family with each holiday season or not, your pet likely has some opinions of its own.
With all the rich and decorative delights that accompany the season, you’ll want to make sure your furry friend sticks as close to a regular schedule as possible. The smallest bit of stability and control will help ease your pet’s mind while the humans worry about the overindulging.
Holiday parties can cause your pet undue stress and anxiety, but follow this simple list and your seasonal soirees will go off without a hitch.
8. Lovely Lights
If you’re like millions of others in North America, you understand the decorative versatility of the simple strand of Christmas tree lights. From corporate front desks to cozy family rooms, they’re found nearly everywhere around this time of year.
No matter the color, no matter the flash pattern, if you’re hanging lights this year, keep them out of reach of your pets. Lights hung from a Christmas tree’s lower branches can tangle up curious or unwary animals. And in chomping or wrestling to get free, your cat or dog could fray the cord and get electrocuted or start a fire.
7. Needless Needles
There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of driving your family hours out of the city and forcing them to walk through an arboreal maze under three feet of snow, armed with nothing but a hacksaw and little patience.
It’s not for everyone, but if you do bring home a fresh tree this year, keep an eye out for dropping needles. They’re small, and easily digested. But if the needles are dry and brittle enough, they can just as easily get lodged in an animal’s windpipe, or even puncture an intestine.
6. Candle Dangers
Soft flickering flames are a pleasant sight any time of year, but candles seem to show up more and more as winter progresses. It’s a tradition we’ve held onto since centuries before the electric light was invented, but if you have pets, it’s one that might be best left behind.
Lighted candles are pretty, but they may attract the attention of pets, as well. A curious cat or wayward tail could wind up singed, or even start a fire.
If you do light candles, place them well out of reach, and in stable candle holders your pet cannot knock over. And put the candle out when you leave the room. There’s typically no storybook ending to candle accidents.
5. Opening/Closing Doors
Holiday party guests may fill a home with warmth, but some of them will eventually need to leave. If you’re worried about your animal running outside unattended, it’s best to alert your visitors, or hang a sign on the door.
A missing pet during the darkest days of the year can bring down those lifted spirits quicker than you can say Kris Kringle, so take precaution. And while your guests are still having a good time, invite them to play with your pet in a quiet room if your animal shows interest. You possibly only see these people once a year, so make the most of them!
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →