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all that glitters is not good: holiday pet safety tips

  • Jules
  • Posted by Jules Benson on
    Chief Veterinary Medical Officer of Petplan


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The halls are decked with boughs of holly, lighted reindeer dance on the rooftop, and your pet is helping hang the stockings (or at least seeing what’s inside them). What’s not to love?

For your pet, the answer is actually a lot of things. Holiday décor can turn a silent night into a serious emergency for our four-legged friends. Here’s what tops Petplan’s naughty list this time of year:

Christmas trees
Good luck convincing the cat you didn’t just go out and buy them their very own climbing frame! 

Trees can be knocked down, ornaments and lights can be broken, and tree water can  make your pet very sick; your basic Christmas nightmare. Use string or wire to secure the tree to something stable, try non-breakable ornaments with pets and children around, and keep unsupervised pets away from “O Tannenbaum.”

Tinsel can be a really big problem, especially with cats. If ingested, it can get caught in the intestines and act as a “linear foreign body,” often requiring dangerous (and costly) surgery to be removed – a great reason to make sure a Petplan pet insurance policy is on your pet’s shopping list this year. Maybe garland is the way to go…

Candles and Menorahs
Your curious critters can be attracted to flames; never leave a lit candle unattended, especially around pets. The range of potential problems starts at minor burns but includes the possibility of a house fire!

Extension Cords
Cats and dogs love them; chewing on them, that is. Check often for bite marks and make sure that they are nowhere near sources of water. It’s also best to use grounded 3-prong extension cords.

Batteries may be included in your best friend’s new interactive toy, but they are not included in the list of things that should be eaten by our pets. Even small batteries can cause a big problem; the corrosive chemicals can lead to ulceration or even perforation of stomach or intestines.

Keeping these holiday hazards away from curious paws will help keep your pet happy and healthy. But just in case, it’s always reassuring to have a Petplan pet insurance policy that will keep your pet protected all season long – and beyond.

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Dr. Ernie Ward, Jr.Veterinary Advisory Board of Petplan
vet tip of the week

Visit your vet at least once a year to keep your pet protected from preventable diseases.