Most families consider their pets part of their family, and we love sharing holidays with family. Just be sure to do so safely.
Stoves and cook tops are involved in the largest number of fires started by pets, which may jump up on them—or on you while you’re cooking—to get at food. Just as you establish a “kid-free zone” around the stove when cooking, establish one for pets. Enlist your children’s help in keeping pets away, or use a baby gate to confine them in a different area while you’re cooking. Even after turning off the burners, don’t leave tempting food on the stove top unattended.
The American Kennel Club provides these tips, some especially for the holidays and some to remember year-round:
- Avoid decorating with food, like popcorn or cranberry strands, because they can cause upset stomachs if eaten by your pets.
- Be aware of the pet hazards of Christmas trees. Don’t let your pet drink the water in a natural tree stand, which can cause stomach irritation or contain poisonous plant food. Also place sparkly ornaments that can catch your dog’s eye higher up on your tree where they can’t be reached, because eating one can cause major problems. You may want to consider putting a gate around the tree if you have a persistent pet.
- Some of the holiday foods that humans love can make our pets ill. Keep them away from chocolate, butter, turkey skin, fat and candy.
- Don’t leave your pet unattended around an open flame of any kind. Pets are curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace.
- Consider flameless candles, which use a light bulb instead of an open flame. Pets have started fires when their tails overturned lit candles.
- Don’t leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck. The sun’s rays, filtered through the glass and water, can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck.
While you’re not at home:
- Keep pets near entrances. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.
- Secure young pets, especially young puppies, away from potential fire-starting hazards, in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
Learn more ways to Be Safe With Your Pet.