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pet proofing disasters

November 30, 2012

PetSafe® Expert

PetSafe® Guest

The 12 Disasters of Christmas

 By Robin Rhea, PetSafe Senior Brand Manager

There are many potential hazards that our pets have a higher likelihood of being exposed to during the holidays. To help you remember how to best care for your pet this season, here are the 12 Disasters of Christmas to ensure you keep your “true love” safe, healthy and happy.

pet proof christmas tree12. Dangerous Decorations

Curious pet will eat and shallow these shiny things as well as chewing electrical cords from lights and decorations. Check electrical cords for chew marks regularly and consider leaving the tinsel to pet-free households.

11. Corruptive Candy and Chocolate

Chocolate and candy should never be accessible by your pet. Chocolate contains thebromine which is toxic to dogs and cats. Consuming candy and sweets can cause your pet’s blood sugar to drop and cause liver failure. So keep the Christmas stockings and treats out of reach.

10. Lethal Lilies

Lilies are lovely holiday décor but also extremely poisonous to cats. Choose fake lilies or other non-lethal center pieces.

pet safe foods9. Bad Liquor

You can toast the holiday but beer, liquor, and wine are not good for pets. These substances can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. The smaller the pet, the more sever the impact.

8. Dreadful Dumpster Diving

The holidays tend to generate a lot of trash. Even if your pets don’t typically get into the trash can, when we are extra distracted with the hussle and bussle and tossing new and different things away can lead to a perfect storm for our pets. Consider using a PetSafe Indoor Pet Barrier to protect your pet from the trash or other “off-limits” areas of your home.

7. Monstrous Macadamia Nuts

Chestnuts might be roasting on an open fire but macadamia nuts can be poisonous to your pups. Watch out for symptoms of poisoning; muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate and if any appear immediately call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 or go to an emergency vet clinic.

holiday pet proofing6. Poor Pet-troductions

Visiting guests can sometimes come with pets of their own or perhaps you’re adding a new pet to your home as a Christmas surprise. Take care to introduce pets slowly and in a controlled environment to avoid potential injuries to you or your pets.

5. Fearful Fat Trimmings

It seems celebratory to give our pet’s table scraps after we enjoy Christmas dinner, but fatty meats can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Meat bones can also splinter and create a serious choking hazard.

4. Harmful Human Meds

The stress of the holidays might send you searching for a head ache remedy. But be carefully to store them safely. Common human medications can be deadly to your pets. Never give your pet any medication that isn’t recommended by your vet.

bad foods for pets3. Awful Avocados

You may think guacamole is tasty and festive but did you know avocados contain Persin, a substance toxic to dogs?

2. Ghastly Grapes & Raisins

Grapes and raisins might make an appearance in a fruit basket or fruit cake, but they should never appear in your pet’s assortment of holiday treats. These can cause kidney failure in dogs.

1. Forgetful Family Members

House guests or visiting family members tend to disturb our normal routines. This can introduce your pet to new and potential hazardous conditions. Your guests may not know what can be dangerous to pets. Do a quick pet safety brief and share the 12 Disasters of Christmas  with anyone who visits with your pet. We hope your holiday will be merry, bright, and disaster-free!

How do you protect your pet during the holidays?


Robin Hawn is the Senior Brand Manager of the PetSafe Family of Brands for Radio Systems Corporation, head quartered in Knoxville, TN. She works to build a brand of products designed to give consumer more of the best moments they can possibly have with their pets. She has a MBA with a Marketing Emphasis, a B.A in English, and 10 years experience developing and launching marketing plans, brand strategy and PR campaigns across a variety of diverse industries. Her French bulldog Buckley typically logs the same hours at the office as Robin. She volunteers with the Most Pet Friendly Community initiative that has a mission of making Knoxville, TN the most pet friendly community in America.  

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