Tis The Season: How To Keep Your Pet Safe During The Holidays


As the holiday season approaches, it’s important to remember that while it may be a joyful time for humans, it can bring potential hazards for our beloved pets. From decorations to festive treats, there are several risks that pet owners should be aware of to ensure the safety and well-being of their furry friends. Let’s take a closer look at some of the pet hazards that come with the holidays and how to keep your pet safe from them.

Decking the Halls: Pet-Proofing Your Decorations

While decorating the house is a festive tradition, it’s essential to pet-proof your decorations to avoid any accidents or injuries. One of the primary concerns is the Christmas tree. Ensure that your tree is securely anchored to prevent it from toppling over if your curious pet decides to investigate. Avoid using tinsel or small ornaments that can be ingested or cause choking hazards.

Be cautious with candles and other flame-related decorations as well. Pets can easily knock them over, causing fires or burns. Consider using flameless candles or placing them in areas inaccessible to your pets. It’s also important to secure any loose wires or electrical cords to prevent your pet from chewing on them, which could result in electric shocks or other injuries.

Holiday Treats: Keep the Chocolate and Sweets Out of Reach

During the holiday season, there’s an abundance of delicious treats, but many of them can be harmful to pets. Chocolate, in particular, is toxic to dogs and cats. Theobromine, a chemical present in chocolate, can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, and even seizures. Make sure to keep all chocolate and chocolate-based treats away from your pets’ reach.

Additionally, other sweet treats like cookies, cakes, and candies may contain ingredients such as xylitol, raisins, or macadamia nuts, which are toxic to pets. Keep these goodies out of your pet’s reach to prevent any accidental ingestion. Instead, offer pet-friendly treats or toys specifically designed for their enjoyment during the holidays.

All That Glitters: Beware of Tinsel and Christmas Tree Ornaments

Tinsel may add a dazzling touch to your holiday decor, but it can pose severe risks to your pets. Cats, in particular, are attracted to the shiny, dangling strands of tinsel and may try to play with or ingest them. Swallowing tinsel can lead to intestinal blockages, which may require surgery to remove. To prevent this, opt for other non-toxic decorations or place tinsel high enough that it is out of reach.

It’s not just tinsel that can cause problems. Christmas tree ornaments made of glass or other fragile materials can break if knocked down by pets, potentially causing injuries. Consider using pet-safe ornaments made of sturdy materials or hanging them higher up the tree, so your pet cannot reach them. It’s also important to carefully sweep up any broken decorations to avoid your pet from stepping on or ingesting any shards.

Guest Etiquette: Manage Visitors and Ensure Pet Safety

The holiday season often means an increase in visitors, which can be exciting but overwhelming for our pets. Some pets may become anxious or stressed with unfamiliar faces and loud gatherings. To ensure their safety and well-being, create a quiet and designated space where your pet can retreat to if they feel overwhelmed. Provide them with their bed, toys, and fresh water to make them feel more comfortable during these busy times.

Remind your guests, especially children, about pet safety. Instruct them not to feed your pet any table scraps or treats, as many human foods can be toxic to animals. Additionally, make sure your pet’s identification tags and microchips are up to date, just in case they slip out of an open door during the commotion. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

The Gift of Safety: Choose Pet-Friendly Presents

When picking out gifts for your furry friend, make sure they are safe and suitable for pets. Avoid toys with small parts that can be swallowed or toys made of materials that can easily be torn apart. Opt for sturdy toys made specifically for pets that are non-toxic and pose no choking hazards.

Consider getting your pet a cozy new bed, a scratching post for cats, or puzzle toys that can keep them engaged and mentally stimulated. These types of gifts are not only entertaining but also contribute to their overall well-being and happiness.


By being mindful of potential hazards and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and joyful holiday season for both you and your pets. Keeping your decorations pet-proof, avoiding toxic treats, being cautious with ornaments, managing visitors, and choosing pet-friendly presents are all vital steps to ensure your pet’s safety during the holidays. Remember, a little bit of planning goes a long way in protecting your furry friend and ensuring they can enjoy the festivities right along with you!

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