Dr. Evan Antin has four simple rules for pet owners, to make this holiday season the safest one yet

By Kelli Bender
December 08, 2017 04:20 PM
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‘Tis the season for emergency vet visits. During the hustle and bustle, it can be easy for pets to get into trouble or sneak a dangerous snack.

It’s important to have an emergency plan ready to go in case your pet gets ill during the holiday season. Your usual veterinarian might be on vacation for the holidays as well, so make sure to look up a 24-hour animal hospital or clinic near your home ahead of time.

The goal, of course, is to get through the season without any emergency vet visits. To help you and your furry friend achieve that goal, PEOPLE Pet Vet Dr. Evan Antin has provided some simple pet safety tips that will help everyone celebrate stress-free.

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Don’t Let Fido Feast With You: To keep your dog from ingesting harmful foods (like chocolate and nuts), let him hang out in a separate room during big meals or parties, especially since guests may not know your pet-food policies. If your pet consumes something he shouldn’t, contact poison control or your vet for advice.

Mind Your Tree Trimmings: Decorations can cause GI obstructions if they are consumed. Make sure to keep any ornaments, wrappings and decorations that are easy to eat out of your pet’s reach.

Pets are Not Presents: You are responsible for an animal even after the thrill of the holidays fades away. Do not give a pet as a gift unless the entire family has researched and agreed on the choice.

De-Ice with Care: Protect your pup’s paws from injury by using pet-friendly products when de-icing sidewalks and driveways.

For more helpful tips on how to make this the most festive season yet, pick up PEOPLE’s Holiday Entertaining issue, on newsstands now!