I normally write about real estate and the great Portland/Vancouver region–which is so beautiful this time of year–but I saw a handout full of tips for keeping pets safe during the holidays and wanted to share it. Thanks to the great staff at Laurelhurst Veterinary Hospital* for sharing these tips. We have three cats, and I’m always hyper-aware of how the changes this time of year affect them.

  1. Keep holiday decorations out of reach. Many of materials used to make holiday decorations can be dangerous to animals if ingested–tinsel, ribbons, artificial snow. And, also make sure to keep low-hanging ornaments on the tree out of reach of excitable kitties!
  2. Beware of cold weather hazards. Keep them inside and warm, of course, especially if you have a cat who goes outside. Also, people use salt and other chemicals to keep sidewalks clear, and those can present dangers to animals, so wipe off their paws after outdoor winter adventures. Finally, be very vigilant about keeping pets away from anti-freeze, which is highly toxic.
  3. Keep table scraps on the table. A lot of our holiday foods are very fatty and full of fragile bones, so think twice before tossing that turkey leg to fido.
  4. Keep holiday plants high off the ground. Those pretty holiday plants are quite toxic when ingested, so keep holly, poinsettia and mistletoe away from where the pets can get them. Also, be careful your pets cannot get under the tree and drink water from the Christmas tree stand!
  5. Give your pet the gift of a microchip. If your dog or cat is not ID’d with tags or a microchip, now is the time to do it. This is time of year when visitors come and go, and your beloved pet might sneak out, or the visitor might think it is okay to let them out.

*Laurelhurst Veterinary Hospital is the best vet I’ve come across in all my years of being a crazy cat guy. They are so professional, compassionate and reasonably priced. We take our senior tabby Rat there twice a week for a simple procedure, and they greet him like Norm walking into Cheers. Thanks to the great staff there!