During the holiday season I sometimes find myself a little more scattered than usual - what with work and family coming and going...and then there's the cooking and cleaning and holiday festivities...

It can be easy to forget about our pet family because they don't really 'need' much from us when it comes to holiday celebrations. Sure, there is the food, water, walks, clean litter boxes and pet beds...but some common sense tips to keep our furry family members safe during the celebrations are super important!

I am a HUGE animal lover and was reading about this and found a great article, courtesy of healthypet.com that seemed sensible online.

Here are some of the points noted:

1. Stress and Company:

Watch out for open doors and sneaky pets! With everyone coming and going a slinky little kitten could slip right through the legs of an unsuspecting visitor.

The holidays are a time for giving but not to your family pets. A little precaution and prevention will make the holidays a happy time for everyone! It's a good idea to have a minimum of two forms of ID on them at all times, just in case. It's not rude to ask your guests to keep an eye out for pets underfoot and remind them that normally friendly dogs or cats may be less willing to put up with excited children or rooms of unfamiliar people. It seems like a smart idea to create a "people-free zone" for your furry family members. Give them a quiet zone, blanket and fresh water. Let them retreat when the party gets too much for them.

2. Ornaments:

Keep breakable ornaments, candles, dreidels and aluminum coins out of reach. Hard to do if your kitties finds tree climbing part of their holiday fun, but well worth it. Tinsel and ribbons are especially dangerous because if they are swallowed, they can wrap themselves around intestines or cause blockages that will make a trip to the pet emergency room necessary.

3. Holiday Tree:

Secure that Spruce Pine! If you have a dog with a happy tail or a climbing kitten, anchor the tree to your wall or a sturdy nearby bookshelf. Don't put aspirin or sugar additives in the tree water. This can be especially deadly for a thirsty pet. If under duress, your pet may seek new places to drink and calm itself; don't tempt fate here. Plain water works for trees in natural settings so it will work for a holiday season now.

4. Pine Needles:

Pretty on the tree but not so pretty if your pet swallows it and gets a punctured tummy. Keep an eye out and a broom nearby - get family members to help watch.

5. Candles:

An excited cat or happy puppy tail can tip over a lit candle, so never leave a candle unattended with loose pets.

6. Electrical cords:

Holiday lights mean more cords for kittens to play with and puppies to chew - especially when curious or stressed - so keep them secured and out of the way.

7. Holiday Plants:

Mistletoe and Holly are extremely dangerous - in fact, poisonous when eaten! That lovely red Poinsettia may not be truly poisonous, but its milk white sap and leaves will definitely cause severe gastric distress. There are lots of varieties of these plants, so it's best to keep them away from your pets all together.


Turkey, chicken, or ham - lots of tantalizing, tasty smelling flavors wafting through the air...but be especially careful not to let any guests give your furry friends any of these bones! Even steak bones can lodge in the throat, stomach or intestinal tract of your pet and get lodged leading to a very dangerous and possibly deadly outcome. If you must give your pet a treat during the holidays, find a safe treat from your local pet store. Since many of us have multiple holiday celebrations, feel free to ration that treat out by splitting it in two. Obesity in pets is rising just like in their human family members, and pets are increasingly being diagnosed with diseases related to being too fat....so break that treat in half; you'll be glad you did and they won't know ;)

Happy Holidays!





Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource forChapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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