New and seasoned pet parents alike can safeguard their pets to ensure the holidays are merry and bright. Here are some holiday pet safety tips from Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA).

Holiday plants such as poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, and hibiscus are toxic to pets so keep them out of reach.

Be on the lookout for tiny decorations and tinsel that look very appetizing to pets, but can be lethal if ingested.

Use ribbon or yarn instead of hooks to hang ornaments instead of metal that can be harmful if chewed or swallowed.

Deck the halls with tape and cord covers.  Pets can suffer burns and electrocution from chewing through electrical cords.  Place cords out of sight, cover with tape, or use plastic tubing available at hardware stores to cover the cords.

Dogs and cats should wear a collar with I.D. tags at all times, in addition to being microchipped.  Make sure information is current.  This is important throughout the entire year, but especially during the holidays as there may be a greater risk of your pet escaping due to increased visitors.  

Bells may ring and children may sing, but your pets may need a quiet place to retreat. During holiday parties, secure your pets in a separate room with favorite toys, a cozy pet bed, and soft music. Pets that have their own room will feel safer, less stressed and won’t be able to accidentally escape out the front door.

Be careful of candles as curious pets can tip them over or may be burned by the flame.

Never give your pets leftover bones from meals you are making. Cooked bones splinter and can be fatal to pets.

Turkey and gravy makes a festive feast for humans but not for pets. Over time, fatty foods such as gravy and turkey skin can cause your pet to develop pancreatitis which can be deadly. Instead consider buy a holiday meal just for them from the spcaLA Marketplace.

Chocolate is a great treat, but is toxic to your pet.  Instead get yummy treats just for them.

Teach your dog to “come when called.”  spcaLA Animal Behavior & Training Department offers a variety of obedience classes for dogs of all ages.

Submitted by Ana Bustilloz SPCALA