The biggest safety hazard consistently witnessed by pet sitters during the holidays is a pet’s access to dangerous materials in the home that can be easily ingested. Other hazards are electrical appliances left on in the home, a pet’s access to dangerous plants, holiday food and decorations and issues related to weather.
Here are some of the most frequently recommended holiday cautions for pets:
• Holiday treats, such as rich, fatty scraps, bones from pork and poultry, alcoholic beverages, chocolate and other sweets and candies can be harmful or toxic to pets.
• Pine tree water can be poisonous, so be sure to cover open tree stand bases. The tree should be secure to the wall with strong wire or twine because a toppling tree can cause serious injuries to dogs and cats.
• Keep these poisonous holiday plants away from pets: the berries of the mistletoe, holly, hibiscus, Christmas roses and the poinsettia.
• Many holiday decorations are hazardous to pets. If decorations are not pet-friendly, keep them, as well as lights, out of a pet’s reach. House fires increase considerably during holidays.
• Remember, the most common pet-related emergency that occurs over the holidays is the consumption of human pharmaceuticals. Make sure all prescription and non-prescription drugs are safely stored.