Holiday Pet Safety Tips to Keep Your Days Merry and Bright

Holiday Pet Tips - Chihuahua Christmas

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be a fun and stressful time for everyone in your family—including your pets! As you’re preparing for Santa Claus to come to town, here are some holiday pet tips to help your animals have a safe and happy holiday.

Deck the halls!

When you’re decorating for the holidays, remember to think about your pet’s safety. Here are a few general safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Pick up ornament hooks, tinsel and ribbons and store them out of your pet’s reach.
  • Other items to keep out of your pet’s reach include lit candles and menorahs. Store them high on a counter or a sturdy table so they can’t be knocked over.
  • Many popular holiday plants and flowers, particularly mistletoe berries, poinsettias and holly, are poisonous to pets. Either opt to leave them out of your home or display them in places your pet cannot access.

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree …

If you have a Christmas tree, keep these tips in mind:

  • Beware of gifts under the tree that might contain unsafe food items—especially chocolate.
  • Make sure to keep the water stand covered. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria that can make your pet sick if consumed.
  • If your cat is tempted to play with ornaments, decorate the bottom third of your Christmas tree with non-breakable plastic or wooden ornaments.

… at the Christmas party hop!

Hosting parties and welcoming houseguests are things we often look forward to during the holidays, but they can be stressful for our pets. To help keep them safe and calm, remember these tips:

  • If your pets get nervous around strangers or crowds, keep them in a safe, quiet room when having guests over.
  • Even social pets sometimes need a break from the festivities, so make sure they have a quiet room where they can rest.
  • Keep an eye on the door as friends and family enter and depart your home. While you’re welcoming guests or seeing them off for the evening, your pet may take that opportunity to dart out the door.
  • ALWAYS make sure your pet’s tags and microchip ID are up to date in case he manages to squeeze out the door; this will give you the best chance of being reunited with your furry family member.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Like many of us, pets are drawn to holiday food! If you are fixing a feast for the holidays, remember these guidelines:

  • It’s best to give your pet appropriate pet food instead of table scraps.
  • Let guests know that your pet should only be given appropriate treats.
  • Keep holiday food—especially chocolate, grapes, raisins and onions—away from your pets. They can lead to illness and potentially be fatal.
  • No hungry dogs near the turkey! Turkey bones can easily choke pets.
  • If your pet ingests any of these or is showing signs of illness, contact your veterinarian immediately.

We hope these holiday pet tips will help keep your animals safe and that you have a happy holiday season.

And if you’re thinking about adding a pet to your family, visit our adoptions page to see all pets looking for a home for the holidays.