6 Holiday Pet Safety Tips to Follow This Season
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6 Holiday Pet Safety Tips to Follow This Season

By Ring on December 19, 2023

There’s no one you’d rather spend the holidays with than the people you love most — and the furry friends that bring you joy all year round. But many things that make the holiday season magical aren’t so wonderful for our pets.

Looking for ways to help keep the festivities safe for everyone? Follow these simple pet safety tips for the holidays.

1. Decorate With Pets in Mind

From searching for the fullest, freshest tree to decking the halls with tinsel, decorating is one of the best ways to kick off the holiday season. But your furry friends may see all those twinkling, shiny trinkets as new toys to play with. Here are some tips from the Humane Society and ASPCA to help ensure your pets aren’t tempted by the holiday decor:

Christmas Trees

  • Secure your Christmas tree to prevent it from falling if pets bump into it.
  • Sweep up pine needles and branches, so pets don’t mistake them for a treat.
  • Don’t let pets drink tree water, since it may contain fertilizers or chemicals that could upset your dog or cat’s stomach.
  • Lights and Tinsel

  • Avoid putting light strands at the bottom of your tree where pets can easily reach them.
  • Tuck wires away, so pets can’t chew them.
  • Keep tinsel out of reach or avoid it altogether. Cats may accidentally ingest the shiny strands.
  • Holiday Plants

  • Check floral arrangements, houseplants, and live wreaths and garland for potentially hazardous plants. Many holiday favorites, from holly berries and mistletoe to lilies and amaryllis, can be toxic to dogs and cats.
  • If you don’t know if a plant is pet-friendly, check the ASPCA’s toxic plants list.
  • Candles

  • Place candles on a stable surface pets can’t reach.
  • Always blow candles out when you leave the room to prevent a fire if pets knock them over.
  • Gifts and Wrapping Paper

  • Keep presents hidden away since pets may try to chew on ribbons, bows, and wrapping paper.
  • Immediately throw out paper scraps and bags when opening presents.
  • 2. Leave Holiday Foods to the Humans

    When you just can’t eat another bite after a mouthwatering holiday feast, you may be tempted to give the table scraps to your fur family. But many holiday favorites are hard on pets’ tummies, and some may cause more than a little nausea.

    According to the Humane Society, these foods and ingredients found in holiday treats can be dangerous for pets:

  • Chocolate and candy sweetened with xylitol
  • Grapes
  • Fruit pits
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Citrus
  • Onions
  • Yeast dough
  • Garlic
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts
  • If you plan to give festive foods as gifts or stocking stuffers, keep them hidden away until the holiday, so your pet doesn’t try to sneak a taste. Be careful with trash, too — your pet may accidentally eat something hazardous if they go digging.

    3. Keep an Eye on Pets With Indoor Cameras

    Your pets need a little extra attention this time of year, but between holiday recitals, company parties, travel, and shopping sessions, you may not have much time to give it. With indoor cameras from Ring, you can stay connected with your fur babies — and see if they’re getting up to anything sneaky — from wherever you are.

    You can put an Indoor Cam or Stick Up Cam nearly anywhere in your home that your pet likes to be, from their quiet sanctuary in the guest bedroom to underneath the Christmas tree. From the Ring App, you can use Live View to see real-time footage of your good boy or girl. And if you notice your curious pets trying to pull the stockings off the mantel, you can use Two-Way Talk to let them know you’re watching.

    If you buy a Pan-Tilt Mount for your Stick Up Cam, you can even remotely swivel the camera to scan the room if your pet’s not in view. And if you can’t reach your phone while prepping in the kitchen, an Echo Show allows you to pull up Live View from your Ring cameras using just your voice. That means if you notice it’s eerily quiet while you’re decorating sugar cookies in the kitchen, you can ask Alexa to show you the living room and see if your cat is trying to climb the tree again.

    4. Create a Quiet Space When Guests Come By

    Even the most social pets can get overwhelmed during holiday parties with lots of people around. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) suggests setting up a quiet place or crate away from the commotion that’s easily accessible to your pets — and not guests. If your dog or cat is typically nervous around others even in calmer settings, consider putting them in a separate room with a familiar toy before anyone arrives.

    If you want to check in on your furry friend without disturbing their peace and quiet, you can place an Indoor Cam or Stick Up Cam in their room and periodically check Live View. You’ll be able to see if your shy pet is fast asleep or say a few calming words if they need help settling.

    5. Give Visitors a Head’s Up

    While it’s important to prepare pets for guests, you may need to prepare your visitors, too, according to the AVMA. If a new friend doesn’t know that your crafty lab is known for going through purses, they may leave hazardous items in reach, like gum and medications. Dinner party guests may also slip your dog food when they see puppy-dog eyes staring at them from underneath the table. Set guidelines ahead of time for your friends and family members, so they don’t accidentally stress out your pet or give them something that could make them sick.

    If you can’t keep a close eye on your pet while you host a party, consider asking a trusted friend to be their companion for a night.

    6. Put a Pet Tag on Your Furry Friend’s Collar

    The holidays can be hectic, and your pets may see an opportunity to slip out on a winter adventure when you’re distracted by gift wrapping, cooking, or hosting. That’s where a Ring Pet Tag comes in handy.

    Pet Tag is a battery- and subscription-free smart ID tag that uses a QR code to help make it easier to find your lost pet. Once you fill out a Pet Profile and link it to Pet Tag, you can attach it to your furry friend’s collar for peace of mind. If your pet gets lost, anyone can scan the QR code on Pet Tag to see the information you shared, and you’ll automatically get a notification that your pet was found. Then, your pet’s rescuer can anonymously contact you on the Ring App to arrange a reunion.
    You can also spread the word about your lost pet to your neighbors with just a few taps using Lost Pet Mode. Toggling this setting generates a post with pictures from your Pet Profile that you can edit and share. Once your pet is found, you can turn off Lost Pet Mode to let your neighbors know your best friend is back home.

    Check out Pet Tag to learn more about how it can help bring your furry friends home faster this holiday season — and all throughout the year.

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