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Billings veterinarian offers holiday hacks to keep pets safe

Dr. Edie Best says plenty of dangers lurk for pets during the holiday season
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Posted at 11:53 AM, Dec 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-22 15:32:54-05

BILLINGS - As much as you may love the holidays, turns out Christmas décor and our pets sometimes don’t mix.

We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, from decorating to baking treats and even dazzling loved ones with wrapped packages of bows and strings, but all those things can prove dangerous for cats and dogs according to a Billings veterinarian.

“Just monitoring what your pets have access to,” said Dr. Edie Best with Billings Animal Family Hospital.

Best says it's nothing to stress about, but it is something to pay attention to.

From ingesting items used to decorate, chewing on cords, and unsafe food items, she says dangers lurk all over our homes during the holidays.

“If you have a crazy puppy, don’t leave the candy down on the coffee table because sure enough they’re going to get into it,” she said.

But that’s not all.

From food at the dinner table to glass ornaments dogs confuse for balls, the days leading up to Christmas are the time to think about ways to keep holiday décor, food, and other items away from pets.

“And one thing that people don’t think of and think a lot of, people have artificial trees these days, but if you have a real tree be careful what sort of water you have in the tree holder to make sure that's not got chemicals or anything in it,” said Dr. Best.

She asks pet owners to find special ways to include their furry friends in the occasion while keeping them safe. One way is to make sure they are also gifted special toys and treats for Christmas and even hang a stocking up until the time is right to give them those items.

Best also says a danger for cats is the string and ribbon we use to wrap gifts.

And according to Best, it’s also a good idea to keep pets with anxiety away from guests over for the holiday by containing them in a safe space in another room or crate.