Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Make sure your holiday preparations keep pet safety in mind. Dr. Ashley Mitek, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, offers tips to prevent accidents and injuries that could dampen the holiday spirit.

How to Prevent Holiday Hazards for Your Pet

Minimize Stressors

· Give pets a safe space away from holiday visitors

· Watch out for pet’s interactions with unfamiliar children

· Exercise is a great pet stress-buster

· Keep a consistent schedule for your pet

Refrain from Food Sharing

· Foods that contain chocolate or xylitol are toxic to pets

· High-fat foods can cause stomach upset in pets

· Ideally give only pet-safe treats, no human food

· Snuggles show love better than food

Pet-Proof Your Decorations

· Ribbon and tinsel can cause a life-threating obstruction if eaten

· Hide electrical wires, such as strings of lights

· Some pets have allergies to real pine trees

Watch for Outdoor Hazards

· Many dogs, particularly hairless dogs, appreciate a sweater or winter coat on cold days

· Pet-safe booties protect paw pads from cold and rock salt

Anticipate Noisy New Year’s Eve

· Fireworks or even the pop of champagne bottles may scare pets

· A pet “safe space” or veterinarian-prescribed medications may help

· Be sure pets have identifying tags and a microchip in case they escape