Pet-Proof Your Home for Parties

When you’re throwing a party, you plan out the decorations, food and music for your guests. But what about the furry members of your family? A house full of people, food and drink has plenty of dangers for dogs and cats. Keep them safe we these smart steps:

1. Watch your drinks.
“Alcohol is a particular danger,” says Lisa Peterson, director of communications for the American Kennel Club and a longtime dog breeder and owner. “Dogs could become disoriented if they get a taste, so be very careful.” You may want to put your pup in another room when drinks are served.  

2. Keep an eye on cords.
Decorative lights or extra electronic equipment are often powered by extension cords. But sometimes, pets mistake these black squiggles for chew toys, causing electrical shocks and burns to the mouth. Wrap cords with plastic covers or consider using battery-powered lights.

3. Beware decorative plants
Greenery like calla lilies, ivy, holly branches and poinsettias can be problematic for pets. Diarrhea and vomiting can result from ingesting leaves and berries, so keep all plants out of your dog’s reach.

4. Place candles out of reach.
Air freshening candles are a welcome addition to any room when you have guests over, but these flickering lights may inspire curiosity in your cat or dog. Place them high, where they’re out of your pet’s reach, and extinguish them if you’re out of the room. One swipe of your pup’s tail or kitty’s paw could tip a candle over.

5. Watch out for sugar.
Dogs shouldn’t have any sweets, especially dark chocolate, baking chocolate and xylitol, a toxic sweetener, warns Peterson. Always keep the cookie platter up high, and warn your guests not to feed your pooch under the table. If your pet is acting listless or seems unwell, contact your vet right away.