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Family With Their Dog Celebrating the Holidays©Evgeny Atamanenko

Pet-Friendly Holiday Tips

Kids aren’t the only ones who look forward to the holiday season each year; your pets are just as excited to join the fun. With extra head scratches, playtime outdoors, and time to munch on the charcuterie board of food scraps thrown their way, it’s no wonder they love to be amid the festivities. To ensure your furry friends are safe during the hustle and bustle of the month, we have a few pet-friendly holiday tips for your family to remember.

Be Cautious About Your Christmas Tree

A tall, freshly cut Christmas tree brings a nostalgic feeling to every home during this time of year, but it can also look like a welcoming schoolyard jungle gym to your pets. Cats may try to climb the tree, and active dogs can bump into it. Make certain your decorated masterpiece doesn’t come crashing down by securing it to the wall or ceiling with a fishing line or wire to keep it from tipping over or being knocked down.

Placing your tree in water ensures it stays fresh and doesn’t catch on fire because of the dry pine needles, but some families add aspirin, sugar, or other additives to the water for extra longevity. Your pets may also try to use the tree stand as another water bowl to sip from. Skip the additives if you want to keep them healthy this holiday season.

Use Unbreakable Ornaments

Glass ornaments might make your home shine, but broken glass potentially getting wedged in your pet’s paw or snout is a guaranteed trip to the veterinarian. Be proactive by using only unbreakable ornaments (paper, yarn, wool, etc.), so you can rest assured that your pets are safe while you’re away from home.

Avoid Excessive Extension Cord Usage

Although winning your neighborhood’s Christmas light display might be a goal this year, making sure your pets don’t suffer electric shock or mouth burns from chewing on cords is a crucial step to remember before you start decorating! Unplug holiday lights and tuck them away when unused, buy cord protectors, and find pet-safe repellents to keep them from chewing or going near dangerous areas of the home.

Cat with a Pet-friendly Plant©New Africa

Research Pet-Safe Holiday Plants

You might already know that poinsettias are irritating for pets, but other holiday plants like mistletoe, pine, cedar, and holly can be an even bigger problem for your favorite loved ones. Do your research before you buy or accept a new plant into your home to confirm they are safe for your cats, dogs, and other pets to be around. We recommend you buy Christmas cacti, African violets, orchids, bromeliads, or roses on your next visit to the plant nursery instead.

Dog Sitting Near Dining Table©LightField Studios

Double Check Pet-Safe Foods

The curious furry ears peeking over the edge of the dining table and the everpresent sound of persistent sniffing or whining might be the holiday sights and sounds you’ve come to know and love. However, to be sure your best pals aren’t eating unsafe food, consider making extra pet-friendly treats that you and your guests can give them rather than tossing potentially dangerous leftovers. Foods like raisins, currants, citrus, fruit pits, grapes, onions, chives, garlic, small bones, chocolate, and candy can be harmful to pets or fatal! Ensure your pets are not eating these foods, and remind your guests that they should not offer food scraps to them to avoid potential issues.

Cat in a Box with Holiday Decorations©Konstantin Aksenov
Be Careful with Gift and Food Packaging

Gift wrapping with materials like strings, tinsels, and small parts like bows and ribbons can be toxic if your pets eat them. Food packaging your family and friends bring inside, like plastic bags or aluminum foil, can also be a choking or suffocation hazard. Keep a close eye on all packaging and wrapped items in your home, and properly dispose of any unnecessary items after using them.

Stay Warm on Walks

The after-dinner stroll or early morning walk with your dog before the house comes alive with holiday chaos is essential for you to stay healthy and keep your pet active during the busy season. If your dog gets chilly during winter, invest in an appropriate coat or sweater to keep them warm while outside. Dog boots may also help keep paws warm and prevent them from getting dirty with snow salt, antifreeze, or other debris.

Before going outside, pay attention to how your pet feels in the clothing or shoes. If they continually try to take off the items, do your best to keep the walks short and go out in the daytime when the sun is hot. This way, they can enjoy the exercise and feel comfortable, too!

At Kerley Family Homes, our priority isn’t just to sell you a new house. We care about your family’s safety, including your pets! We build our communities with high-quality and reliable materials, so your family can enjoy years of holiday celebrations. Contact a sales agent today to learn more about our available move-in ready homes in metro Atlanta and how you can save money with our incredible new promotions!

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