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Dear Maxine: Keeping Pets Safe During Spring Holidays

Updated: May 17, 2021

Welcome to another installment of Dear Maxine, where my canine, feline (and occasional human friends), write in to ask questions on proper immunizations, nutrition, behaviors, or anything else that may be on their minds. (Full disclosure my human mom helps me with this). This week’s letter comes from a human friend in Des Moines, who writes;

Dear Maxine,

I have 2 dogs and 2 cats. They are all young and prone to get into trouble, no matter how well we pet-proof the house. With St. Patrick's Day and Easter just around the corner, I am wondering if there are some tips to help keep them all safe around the holidays. Please help.

Thank you!

Baby Proofing in Buffalo

Dear Buffalo,

Thank you for writing and thank you for asking such a wonderful question. While everyday hazards are always a concern, there are even more things that our pets can get into when the holidays roll around. Here are a few tips to keep our furry friends happy and Healthy.

  • Don’t leave lit candles unattended. pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!

  • Keep wires, batteries, and glass or plastic decorations out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable decorations can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.

  • We know not to feed pets chocolate, and anything sweetened with xylitol, but we must make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.

  • No leftovers, fatty, spicy, and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Fatty, rich foods are difficult for our pets to digest and can cause their stomach to become upset. Bones can cause damage to the esophagus and intestinal tracts.

  • Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

  • Be aware that increased noise and lights can cause stress. If your pet seems agitated, turn down the music or consider placing your pet in a quiet, calm room with dim lighting.

  • Give your pet their own quiet space to retreat to, make sure to include fresh water, and a place to snuggle and sleep. Your pet may want to escape to their crate or under a piece of furniture, away from activities.

  • Make sure guests know the rules and what you allow little ones to do and not do with your pet. If your pet is not used to small children, it may be best to keep them separated to protect them and the guests.

It’s also important to keep your pets safe during emergencies, so make sure to incorporate your pets into your escape plans and fire drills. Attempting to teach your pets what to do when an alarm rings can prepare them for a real emergency.

I hope this helps with your baby-proofing, my friend in Buffalo. And thank you for your efforts to keep your buddies happy and healthy!


Maxine (& Brenda) Storms

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