As the holiday season approaches, you’re likely running to and fro as you plan your Thanksgiving feast, pick out your Christmas tree, and wonder how you’ll have the energy to stay up till midnight on New Year’s Eve. In the midst of this frantic errand-running, stop to consider how you’ll keep your pet safe during the holiday festivities. Our All Pets Medical Center team has made it simple to protect your four-legged friends from common holiday hazards by sharing the following conversation between two pets. These two fictitious furballs have made it their mission to keep cats and dogs safe during the holidays by sharing their wisdom. Let’s listen in.

Noel: Well, Jingles, your first holiday season is upon us! Which holiday are you most excited about?

Jingles: All of them! I’ve heard there are tons of drool-worthy food at each holiday, so how could I possibly pick?

Noel: Now, Jingles, you know that all people food isn’t good for you. Although you’re just a young pup, you should realize that the food in the kitchen and on the table is off limits. If our humans want to give you a bite or two of skinless, boneless turkey breast, that’s fine. You can even have raw or dried sweet potatoes, plain pumpkin, or fresh green beans. Just stay away from anything that has seasonings and spices, like onions and garlic. Rich, fatty foods can also upset your stomach, or even cause pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening. 

Jingles: Yeah, but what about the leftovers the humans don’t want and toss in the trash? And don’t get me started on the turkey leg bones I’ve heard get ignored!

Noel: It looks like my work is cut out for me this year, Jingles. I’ll have to keep a close eye on you to prevent you from eating any bones that can pierce your mouth or throat, or even cause a blockage in your intestinal tract that requires surgery. And, the stuff in the trash can is best left there, since leftovers are typically spoiled and rancid, which can cause serious vomiting and diarrhea. 

Jingles: OK, so I can’t have the bones or the leftovers. Can I at least have dessert?

Noel: Nope, you’ll have to pass on dessert, too. As a cat, I don’t really have a sweet tooth, but I know chocolate is like poison to you pups. Don’t forget that the sugar substitute xylitol can also be harmful. If you eat a dessert sweetened with xylitol, your blood sugar could bottom out, and you might suffer severe liver damage.

Jingles: So I should just stick to my normal kibble, huh? Can I at least open the gifts under the tree that clearly smell like they’re meant for me?

Noel: Paws off! No peeking until Christmas morning, and even then, don’t chew up the wrapping. I made the mistake of playing with the ribbon when I was a kitten, and I had to undergo surgery to have it removed.

Jingles: Wow! I thought you always knew best because you were a cat!

Noel: Well, I’ve learned my lesson, young terrier, and that’s why I’m passing these tips on to you. 

Jingles: All right, so no foods that can get stuck inside me or make me sick. And, I need to stay away from the gifts. But what do I do when they put a tree inside the house? Can I pee on it? Can I chew on it?

Noel: No and no. The Christmas tree is not your indoor bathroom, nor is it a pine-scented chew toy. Those sharp needles can puncture your gums, and if you drink the water at the base, you can get really sick from the chemicals used to keep the tree fresh. Plus, those electrical cords aren’t flashing rope toys. They can give you a nasty shock if you nibble on them.

Jingles: Man, I really can’t have any fun with the tree! Can I at least play with the family who comes to visit?

Noel: When family and friends come over, you can certainly play with them. However, don’t rush out the door to greet them. We don’t want to have to comb the neighborhood for you during the holidays! If all the commotion gets to be too much, you can always retreat to a bedroom and relax. I know I often feel overwhelmed with everyone wanting to pet my beautiful white fur, so I typically hide out in the safe space the humans made for me until the party is over.

Jingles: Thanks for the tips, Noel! I just have to keep my nose from sniffing out any trouble, and the holidays will be so much fun!

Noel: Don’t worry, pup. I’m here to help you safely enjoy the holidays, so we can play with our new toys together!

We hope you shared this story of warning with your own pet, but if your furry pal gets into mischief this holiday season, our All Pets Medical Center team is here to help. Give us a call to schedule an appointment.