Homeowners insurance blog

Woofin’ Around the Christmas Tree

The holiday season can provide some unique situations for your furry family members, which is why it’s a good idea to brush up on some holiday pet safety tips. With all the holiday shopping and cookie baking to do, the last thing you need is to be rushing to the animal hospital and paying a big bill.

Check out these tips so Fido the dog or Streaky the cat can enjoy the holidays with you.

Keep pets indoors

Your dog or cat may be fearless and laid back 364 days of the year but the loud celebrations of New Year’s Eve can cause anxiety for any pet. You want to try to keep your animal safe and calm, which is best achieved by keeping it indoors. If your pet is outside, it could be injured by fireworks or be hit by an intoxicated neighborhood driver.

When you need to take your dog outside for a “walk,” make sure it’s secured on a leash. That way it can’t run away if it gets startled.

Give your pet its own quiet space

During the holiday season, your house may be filled with family and friends, which could be stressful for your pet. From the loud voices to hyper children who don’t understand the difference between petting and grabbing fur, it’s the perfect storm to give your pet a sheer panic attack.

It’s a smart idea to give your pet its own space away from the hustle and bustle. A quiet room with fresh water and a cozy bed is the perfect retreat for your cat or dog if things get too crazy.

Keep your décor pet friendly

A Christmas tree is usually the centerpiece of any holiday décor but can be a danger to your pet. Make sure your tree is secure in its stand so it doesn’t tip and fall injuring your pet. Keep in mind, cats often like to climb Christmas trees.

Many people also like to adorn their trees with tinsel. However, if you have a pet it’s a good idea to skip the shiny strands. Cats often want to play with tinsel and can end up swallowing it. The outcome – vomiting, dehydration, and possible surgery.

Holiday plants are another decorative item that can harm your furry friend. Mistletoe, holly and poinsettias are all beautiful but poisonous to pets. It’s best to keep these items high out of reach or to just skip them altogether.

Keep your guests safe

Planning to throw a holiday party or hosting the whole family at your house this year? You should think about not only keeping your pet safe but keeping your guests safe. Your pet may be calm most of the time but anxiety can cause fear aggression in any pet. If your dog or cat shows signs of stress, then put it in a quiet, safe room.

By the same token, make sure your home insurance policy has dog bite liability coverage. If you are without coverage and Fido bites your neighbor, you could get sued and be left without any financial protection. Call and speak with a licensed insurance agent about your pet if you have concerns about coverage.

Update Identification

On nights like New Year’s Eve, the risk is higher for your pet to get loose. Even if a pet is secured inside your home, the sound of noisemakers and fireworks can cause it to enter panic mode and dash out an open door or push through a screen.

In case your fur ball breaks free, it’s a good idea to make sure your pets are licensed and micro-chipped. Make sure the micro-chip has updated information with your current address and phone numbers. Even if you don’t micro-chip your pet you should at least collar and tag every pet in your home.

Taking these simple precautions will help you enjoy the holidays. As for your animal, especially your feline, the message is clear: Have yourself  a purry little Christmas!