The holidays are a fun and festive time for everyone, including our pets. However, that good cheer could be ruined if your cat or dog ends up sick, missing, or worse. To help keep this the most wonderful time of the year, Regional Animal Services is pleased to offer the following tips adapted from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Keep people food away from your pet, especially candy and chocolate, and ask your holiday guests to do the same. If you suspect your dog or cat has gotten into something they shouldn’t have, contact your veterinarian right away.

Keep your pet away from the Christmas tree, lit candles, and holiday plants like poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly.

If you have a cat, consider skipping the tinsel on the tree. Cats are often attracted to the shiny plastic.

Secure your Christmas tree to keep it from falling over if your pet climbs or bumps it.

Some holiday decorations can be harmful to pets. Keep a close eye on known “chewers,” and don’t let them chew on electrical cords, plastic, or plants.
Be sure your dog or cat is wearing a collar with a license and ID tag securely attached. Pets can easily escape through doors opened for holiday party guests. You may also consider microchipping your pet. Check with your veterinarian about this service.

If your pet does escape, check with local animal shelters and rescue groups in person to see if your pet has been picked up. Residents in the RASKC service area can also visit our I Lost My Pet page to file a lost pet report. Pet owners can also call 206-296-PETS (7387), and enter 311 to hear a list of stray dogs, or 312 for a listing of stray cats.

If you know your pet gets upset by company, consider putting them in a separate room with a bed, crate, and lots of their favorite toys.

If your pet is kept outdoors, consider bringing them inside during cold weather, or securing them in a garage, shed, or barn.