Keeping your pets safe this holiday season

Holidays Can Be Stressful For Dogs. Here’s How To Tackle It
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Don't move your dog's bed for the Christmas tree.

The holiday season is in full swing and your furry friends will surely be a part of the festivities.

With that said, this time of year often brings special treats and even special plants that are not good for pets.

Here are a list of food and plants the ASPCA says you should be wary of this time of year:

Seasonal Plants and Decorations 

Christmas trees: Make sure your tree is anchored properly so it doesn’t tip and fall on pets. This will also prevent the tree water – which can have fertilizers that upset pets’ stomachs — from spilling.

Mistletoe: Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems in pets.

Holly: When ingested, holly can cause pets to have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Poinsettia: Poinsettia plants are mildly toxic to pets. When ingested, they can cause vomiting, drooling and sometimes diarrhea.

Tinsel: Kitties love to bat around tinsel, but a nibble can lead to a swallow and that can lead to a trip to the vet. Tinsel (and ribbon) can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, which can cause severe vomiting, dehydration and possibly surgery.

Candles: This is always good to note, but don’t leave candles unattended. Pets can easily knock them over or burn themselves.

Holiday Foods

Sweets: Avoid giving your pets anything with chocolate and xylitol (sweetener known as sugar alcohol).

Leftovers: Fatty and spicy foods are a no-go for furry friends. Avoid anything with bones, as well.

Cocktails: Even if Fido is 21 in dog years, alcohol is a no-no. Alcohol can cause pets to become weak, ill and possibly go into a coma. Alcohol can also lead to respiratory failure.

ASPCA’s Tips for a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering

If you are bringing pets to your holiday destination or if family plans to bring them to your house, take a few moments to make sure your house is pet-proof.

  • Set some house rules so that your pets are getting some love amid the reunions, cooking and gift-giving.
  • Put the meds away: Make sure all of your medications are behind secured doors and that your guests keep them zipped up, too.
  • If your pets tend to get overwhelmed by a lot of people, find them a room of their own. Give them a quiet space to retreat to with fresh water and a place to snuggle.
  • Celebrating on New Year’s Eve? Avoid confetti (it can get lodged in cats’ intestines) and avoid noisy poppers that can cause damage to sensitive ears. If you’re going to be in a place with fireworks, keep your pet in a secured place so they don’t run off.

MORE: 8 tips for stress-free holiday road trips with pets

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