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7 things you can do to make the holidays safer for your pet

Dog and cat laying in front of fireplace with Christmas hats on

In conjunction with the AVMA, Southside recommends the following things to avoid mishaps during the holidays.

  1. Keep people food out of the reach of your pet and ask your guests to do the same;

  2. Make sure your pet doesn’t have any access to treats, especially those containing chocolate, xylitol, grapes/raisins, onions or other toxic foods;

  3. Don’t leave your pet alone in the room with lit candles, a decorated tree or potpourri;

  4. Keep holiday plants (especially holly, mistletoe and lillies) out of reach of pets;

  5. Consider leaving the tinsel off your tree if you have a cat;

  6. Secure your Christmas tree to keep it from falling over if your dog bumps it or your cat climbs it; hanging lemon-scented car air fresheners in the tree may deter your cat from climbing it;

  7. If your pet is excitable or scared when you have company, consider putting your pet in another room with some of his/her toys, a comfortable bed, etc. or providing a safe place for your pet to escape the excitement (such as a kennel, crate, perching place, scratching post shelf or hiding place).