The holidays are a special time filled with family, friends, food, and fun. And pets are often a part of these festivities. Therefore, we would like to share these holiday tips to keep your pet happy and safe during the holiday season.

1. Keep your pet comfortable during family gatherings.
Are you hosting the family get together at your house this year? Make sure you keep your pet in mind! Some dogs and cats are very social, and a house full of people is something they seem to love. However, some pets are a bit more shy and a house full of guests may be stressful to them. So to make sure your pet does not become anxious during a gathering, try these tips:
– Have a safe, quiet place or room your pet can retreat to if they desire. Putting some of their favorite toys and bedding in this room can also be comforting. Request that your guests, especially children, do not follow your pet into this room if your pet chooses to use it. This can help your pet feel secure since it has a safe place to retreat and take a break from the excitement.
– Be sure to supervise children around your pet, especially if your pet isn’t used to interacting with young children. Remember, nobody knows your pet better than you. So you will play a large role in monitoring your pet and his interactions with others. It will be up to you to step in when needed to make sure everyone is enjoying the interaction.
-Inform others about your pet’s likes and dislikes so everyone can stay safe.

2. Do not feed your pet table food.
As hard as it is not to share table food with your pet, it really is an important way to keep your pet safe. Many foods that are high in fat content can cause a serious, painful condition called pancreatitis which will require medical care from your veterinarian. Bones found in popular holiday meats like turkey or ham can be swallowed and cause an obstruction or other problems that can be serious and usually require emergency surgery to remove and repair. Desserts or dishes containing raisins, chocolate, or macadamia nuts can be toxic for your pet. If you feel you need to feed your pet something while you enjoy your holiday meal, have pet safe treats on standby that you can give. These can be treats purchased from a pet store, or they can be treats such as carrots or green beans.

3. Supervise your pet around holiday decorations
Decorations such as Christmas trees and holiday plants are signature touches of the holiday season in our houses. However, some plants such as poinsettia, holly, and mistletoe can be toxic if ingested by your pet. Many species of lilies are toxic as well, especially to cats. Make sure that the plants you choose to decorate your home with are safe should your pet happen to ingest them. Also, if you purchase a live Christmas tree, make sure your pet does not ingest any of the pine needles! Supervision is key in keeping your pet safe.

All in all, there are many things to consider when planning a safe holiday season for our furry friends. However, with just a little bit of planning and extra attention to certain details, the holiday season should go smooth for both you and your pet. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian for advice. From all of us here at Newport Animal Hospital, we wish you a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season


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