Heather Ridge Pet Hospital

5901 S. Remington Place Suite 100
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

(605)371-1600

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4 Essential Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays

pet grooming

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year for humans and animals alike. There are 46 million households that own dogs and 38 million households that own cats, and chances are these critters will be waking up Christmas morning with a sizable milk bone or catnip bundle under the tree.

But the holiday season can also pose a series of risks and dangers for our furry friends if we're not careful. To keep pets safe, healthy, happy, and away from the pet hospital, avoid these common holiday hazards:

Poisonous Holiday Plants

Pets tend to find household plants to be very fascinating and will often try to poke, prod, or chew on them -- cats especially. However, some plants are poisonous or deadly, and this may prove to be a dangerous curiosity.

Regardless of the plant, position it out of the reach of your pet. Holiday plants, such as holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias, can be especially dangerous for pets this time of year. For more information, check out this toxic plant guide. If your pet does come into contact with poisonous plants, take them to a veterinary technician immediately to receive the pet health care they need.

Melting Snow Salt

Sure, throwing salt down on snowy sidewalks is a great way to prevent us from slipping and falling, but unfortunately, the salt can be extremely painful to dogs' paw pads. To prevent your dogs from hurting their paws, purchase them protective booties to cover their feet or use other measures like protective waxes. This is also a season where pet grooming is important. Pet grooming and bathing services are also ideal for this time of year in order to avoid matted and dirty fur. If you don't want to do it at home, contact your local pet grooming services for assistance.

Holiday Food

With an influx of guests and delicious food around the house, it can be difficult to monitor exactly what goes into your pet's mouth. However, many holiday foods will make your pet sick or cause them to choke. Foods such as onions and garlic are poisonous for dogs, and chocolate is also toxic to them. It is important to check with your local veterinary practice for a full list of the foods that are safe and unsafe for your pet during the holidays.

Wayward Pets

Holiday parties means that many people will be coming and going, so make sure you know where your pets are at all times. And more importantly, make sure they are microchipped and have some sort of visible identification tag on their collar. A lack of identification on an animal gives your pet a chance as small as 14% of finding their way home.

Remember to keep your pets safe, happy, and healthy this year for a great holiday season -- for the whole family!