The holidays are here again, and pet owners are going to be busy preparing their home for guests. The holidays can bring a lot of fun and cheer to the house, but they can also bring problems for pets and their owners. Large gatherings at your home could upset and stress out your pets and the decorations and food you serve could end up causing problems if your pets get their paws on them. Have a happy and healthy holiday season by following these tips to keep your pets in the holiday spirit.
 
Watch your tree
Christmas trees can be beautiful, but they can also cause some severe health problems for your pets. Pine needles and artificial needles can puncture your pet’s intestines if they eat them, and the tinsel you use to decorate your Christmas tree can end up causing a blockage in their digestive track. Set up a pet perimeter around the tree to ensure that they don’t get too close to the tree, and make sure you do some extra vacuuming around your house to pick up pine needles. Place your Christmas tree lights on higher branches in case your pets find a way past the perimeter, and also the same with your tinsel (or forego using it all together).
 
Skip the holiday flowers
Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants may look festive, but they’re poisonous to dogs and cats. Many of the flowers and plants we use to celebrate the holidays are harmful to our pets. If you want to decorate with traditional Christmas plants, forgo getting real ones and use artificial plants. They’ll last far longer than any real plants could, and they won’t pose a danger to your pets. If you love using real flowers, make sure that they’re kept in an area that your pets can’t reach.
 
Comfort your pets

 

The holiday gatherings can be fun for you and your friends, but your pets may feel a little overwhelmed with all of the attention and strange faces. If your pet tends to be a little skittish around people, explain to your guests that your pet may not want to be petted or played with. If you’re going to have children over, make sure that they know how to respect your pet’s boundaries so that they don’t end up scratched or spooked. Some animals like being around the hustle and bustle of holiday parties, but pets may be more comfortable in a quiet room with a few of their toys so that they have something soothing to play with. Also make sure that you try not to mess up their routine during the holidays. Give your kitty their diabetic supplies for cats, and take your dog for a walk at their usual time.