How to Keep Pets Safe This Holiday Season

SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) — During the holiday season, many people like to get into the Christmas spirit by decorating their homes, lighting fires, baking holiday cookies, and more.

While this is all great and fun to do, pets can get into potential harm at Christmas if they eat holiday decorations like ornaments, tinsel and ribbon, or chew on electrical wires from the Christmas tree.


According to Nationwide pet insurancepet parents should be careful with their seasonal staples because they can pose a risk to your furry friend this holiday season and cost you an unplanned veterinary visit.

Jules Bensonvice president, pet health and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide, suggests pet safety can be part of pet families’ holiday traditions.

“Most of the health risks associated with the holidays are preventable, which is great news, but it does mean taking a few extra steps to make sure everyone in the family is safe,” says Benson. can enjoy traditions safely,” says Benson.

Of the more than 1.2 million insured pets in Nationwide’s pet insurance database, the most common claims and expenses include:

1. Ingestion of foreign objects

Tree ornaments, tinsel, ribbon, gift wrap and garland are often swallowed by curious pets this time of year and can cause serious complications if ingested.

Average claim for foreign body ingestion: $2,400

2. Chocolate and caffeine toxicity

Chocolate is toxic to pets and should always be kept out of reach, but the increased presence of sweet treats during the holidays increases the risk. Of the nationwide chocolate poisoning claims in a given year, 20% of those claims are filed in December, with that number doubling in the last two weeks alone.

3. Alcohol poisoning

Chair cups and empty bottles should be kept out of reach of pets to avoid unexpected trips to the emergency room.

4. Poisoning by plant-based products

Holiday symbols from the Christmas tree such as amaryllis, mistletoe, holly, holly berries or pine needles present varying levels of toxicity. Marijuana and cannabis-based edibles, oils and other products containing THC or CBD can also cause illness.

5. Burns and electric shock.

Chewing on string lights or electrical cords can cause electric shocks or severe burns.

How Pet Parents Can Avoid Dangers During the Holiday Season

To avoid these risks for pet parents, Nationwide Pet Insurance recommends that they be aware of what objects or decorations are on the surface of the pet’s eye that can be eaten. Can be knocked over or provide an opportunity for mischief.

“The majority of health risks associated with the holidays are preventable, which is great news, but it does mean taking some extra steps to make sure everyone in the family can enjoy the traditions safely. can enjoy,” he says. Dr. Jules Benson, Vice President, Pet Health and Chief Veterinary Officer Nationwide. “When it comes to preventing holiday health emergencies, it’s important to consider your pet’s personality. Our data shows that certain breeds and small pets are more prone to foreign body ingestion. Pet parents should also take the time to see their home from their pet’s perspective and pet-proof it accordingly.

Pet parents nationwide are encouraged to use their free tool. Pet Health Zone To determine your pet’s unique risk levels this holiday season. They can also learn about symptoms to watch out for, what to expect from a doctor, and the potential costs associated with treating such conditions. poisonous And Foreign body ingestion.

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