Holiday Safety Tips for Your Pet

by Lee Chambers

The holidays are happening!  Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and after that, it’ll be December, which is often packed with celebrations. We’ve got some tips to keep your pet safe as you wrap up one year and get ready to ring in another.

Prepping for a Road Trip:

  • Be sure your pet has a collar and ID tag
  • Check that your pet’s microchip has current contact info
  • Don’t forget to pack any pet medications as well as toys and bedding

Hosting a gathering:

  • Have a quiet room for your pets if people/crowds overwhelm them (don’t forget the litter box and water for cats)
  • Keep them in a separate room if they dash toward doors leading outside the house
  • Supervise interactions between your pet and kids
  • Remind guests not to feed your pet table scraps
  • Remove trash and bones immediately after the meal

Food hazards:

  • Bones
  • Chocolate
  • Bread dough
  • Baked goods
  • Onions and garlic
  • Bouillon
  • Fruitcake

Christmas tree safety:

  • Be sure pets aren’t ingesting any greenery
  • Secure the tree so it can’t be knocked down
  • Be sure pets aren’t drinking the water from the base of a real tree
  • Keep pine needles swept up
  • No tinsel! Cats love its sparkle and may ingest it, which leads to an obstructed digestive tract
  • Keep glass or other fragile ornaments out of pet’s way
  • Skip the edible decorations (popcorn or cranberry strings, for example)


  • When wrapping gifts, put pets in another room. Ribbons, string, and other gift décor can cause damage if ingested
  • Keep scissors in a safe spot
  • Don’t put wrapped food gifts under the tree. Pets have an amazing sense of smell!
  • Toys come with wires, cords and batteries; watch your pet so they don’t chew on these
  • Ideal gifts for pets include Kongs and balls for dogs, and a stuffed catnip toy or Cat Dancer, Da bird or Cat Charmer for cats

Plants that are toxic for cats and dogs

  • Mistletoe
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Holly
  • Amaryllis
  • Paperwhites
  • Christmas tree (not highly toxic, but can cause vomiting)
  • Poinsettia (not highly toxic, but can cause GI upset in dogs and cats)

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