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Holiday tips to make your pets healthy and happy


Cone and Holly - Wiki Commons

With Thanksgiving literally right around the corner, it is time to explore the best ways to keep your pets safe and happy this holiday season.

While our furry, scaly and feathered friends are an integral part of the family, it is important to understand that there are some traditions, treats and events that they cannot endure mentally or physically.

Remember that free roaming pets, especially ferrets and birds are naturally curious creatures and they use their mouths to do most of their exploring Items that are visually appealing or that are new to the environment like holiday decorations, lights, electrical lines, or bowls of nuts and fruits can create a huge problem for your family pet if they are chewed or ingested.

Christmas Cat . Wiki Commons

The best way to “pet proof” your home is to think from your pet’s point of view.

Move things that have a unique smell (potpourri or candles), taste (nuts, fruit or candy) or look (ornaments, lights and decorations) to higher ground.

If you have a critter that climbs, consider keeping them in their home for the holiday season or cut back on decorations and festive items.


If you have people coming in from out of town, reiterate the house rules regarding your pet. Remind them that your animal can only eat certain foods and ask them to keep any medication they may have out of the reach of your furry friend. The most common reason for a visit to the hospital with a fuzzy family member is human drug ingestion, the second most common pet emergency is food related. Many visitors won’t understand that “Raptor” the Bearded Dragon cannot eat citrus fruits or “Pedro” the Parrot can never have avocado so you need to be sure that they have that information.

Be proactive, cautious, and diligent this holiday season. Remember that you are your pet’s greatest champion and protector. If they seem edgy or over stimulated by holiday guests be sure to provide them with a calm place to relax. If your pet appears to be under the weather, be sure to consult a licensed veterinary practitioner to determine the best course of action. Consider the unthinkable and then head it off at the pass, things like visiting children pouring punch into the fishbowl or taking the bird outside to test how well it can fly. 


By being a bit over protective you can save yourself and your pet a ton of trouble this holiday season. For more information and a list of items that are toxic to pets please visit the ASPCA Thanksgiving Tips Web page