Oct 11, 2022 How To Protect Your Pets This Season

During the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in the merriment and lose sight of potential dangers that can turn festivities into a catastrophe. Pets are especially vulnerable to accidents and mishaps at this time of year, when kitchens are crowded, stoves are working overtime, trees are teeming with lights, space heaters are warming small spaces and candles are flickering for hours on end. According to Michael A. Marano, MD, Medical Director at The Burn Center at Cooperman Barnabas, New Jersey’s only state-certified burn center, there are some easy steps you can take to keep your holidays festive and your family—including your pets—safe.

  • Cooking. Food and the holidays go hand-in-hand, and with all those mouthwatering aromas wafting from the kitchen, even the best-behaved pets will be challenged. Keep hot foods out of paws’ reach, turn pot handles inward, keep gas burners low when possible and watch that sauces and hot liquids don’t splash or boil over.
  • Candles. Never leave candles unattended, place them in sturdy holders, and be sure they’re on surfaces that are high and steady enough that a curious cat or dog can’t reach them. Also, be sure not to place candles on—or near—a surface with a tablecloth (which can be pulled by a pet and can easily start a fire).
  • Trees. Real trees can dry out and catch fire in an instant. Keep them watered and away from candles and heat sources, use lights that stay cool (like LEDs), be sure wires aren’t frayed and minimize dangling ornaments that a pet might be tempted to reach for.
  • Space Heaters. Keep them away from trees, decorations, and anything flammable; don’t put them directly on the floor where pets are more likely to topple them; and always turn them off and unplug them before leaving a room.

Learn more about Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center.