The holidays are approaching with alarming speed, and as you navigate from the partridge in a pear tree to 12 drummers drumming, you should take certain precautions to ensure your pet remains safe. Our team at Leland Veterinary Clinic shares tips to help you protect your pet through the 12 days of Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas … keep your pet away from the turkey

Don’t let the partridge in the pear tree distract you from keeping your pet away from the main holiday dish. The turkey presents several dangers for your pet.

  • Brine — This tasty solution can tempt your pet, but the salty mixture can cause salt toxicity, if ingested.
  • Skin — Turkey skin is high in fat, and a high-fat meal can trigger pancreatitis in pets. This painful condition can lead to life-threatening consequences.
  • Bones — Cooked turkey bones are extremely brittle and can break easily, injuring your pet’s mouth and esophagus.

On the second day of Christmas … keep your pet away from the side dishes

When your true love hands over the two turtle doves, take time to keep your pet away from the side dishes. Any sudden change in your pet’s diet can cause gastrointestinal upset, but certain ingredients, such as onions, garlic, leeks, and raisins, commonly found in holiday dishes, can be toxic to pets.

On the third day of Christmas … keep your pet away from the desserts

After you corral your three French hens, ensure your pet stays away from the dessert table. Ingredients such as the chocolate, xylitol, and macadamia nuts used in sweet recipes can be dangerous for pets.

On the fourth day of Christmas … keep your pet away from alcohol

While listening to your four calling birds, keep your pet away from alcoholic beverages. Pets are extremely sensitive to alcohol, and if they lap up an unattended cocktail, they may exhibit vomiting, incoordination, weakness, and respiratory failure.

On the fifth day of Christmas … ensure your pet is properly identified

Take time away from admiring your five golden rings to ensure your pet is properly identified. Pets can easily become lost during the holiday excitement. Microchipping your pet is the best way to have them safely returned to you if they become lost, and this procedure can easily be performed at their next wellness visit. They should also always wear a collar and identification tags with your current contact information.

On the sixth day of Christmas … provide your pet with a safe place to escape

After collecting the eggs from your six geese a-laying, ensure your pet has a safe place where they can retreat if the holiday festivities become overwhelming.

On the seventh day of Christmas … keep your trash in sealed containers

As you admire your seven swans a-swimming, ensure your pet can’t go dumpster diving by keeping your trash in sealed containers. While scavenging, they may ingest a toxic food or a foreign object, such as plastic wrap, that may require surgery for removal.

On the eighth day of Christmas … secure your Christmas tree

Before you go looking for cows for your eight maids a-milking, protect your pet by securely anchoring your Christmas tree. A curious pet can easily knock over your tree, resulting in mayhem and potential injury. You should also ensure your pet doesn’t have access to the tree water, which may contain fertilizers and bacteria that can harm them.

On the ninth day of Christmas … choose pet-friendly decorations

While your nine ladies are dancing, avoid potentially dangerous holiday decorations. Tinsel can be tempting for cats, who can develop a gastrointestinal obstruction if they swallow a piece. Lit candles are a fire hazard because they can easily be knocked over, and glass or plastic ornaments can easily be broken, resulting in shards that could injure your pet.

On the 10th day of Christmas … protect your pet from decorative plants

As your 10 lords are leaping, ensure your decorative holiday plants are kept out of your pet’s reach. Holly can cause your pet to suffer nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems, and certain lily varieties can cause kidney failure.

On the 11th day of Christmas … protect your pet when traveling by car

Tell your 11 pipers piping to pipe down long enough for you to keep your pet safe when traveling by car. Small pets should be kept in appropriate sized carriers, and larger pets should be restrained using a fitted harness. 

On the 12th day of Christmas … protect your pet when traveling by air

While your 12 drummers are drumming, ensure your pet can travel with you in the plane’s cabin. Traveling in the cargo hold is unpredictable and dangerous for pets.

Avoid any medical mishaps this holiday season by taking these few necessary precautions. If you would like your pet microchipped before the festivities, or if their vaccines need boosters for travel, contact our team at Leland Veterinary Clinic and schedule an appointment.