Holiday Safety Tips for Your Pets

Yellow lab sitting in front of red door during the holidays

The holiday season is upon us, and as we get into the hustle and bustle of the season, it's important to remember to keep your pet's safety in mind. Our pets may enjoy the holidays too, but the season also brings about some potential hazards and stressors that can impact their safety. Here are pet holiday safety tips to help keep your furry friends happy, healthy, and safe during the holidays.

Plan Ahead

Whether you’re leaving for a night out or having guests over, make sure your dog is set up for success. This includes:

  • Exercise or play time before festivities begin
  • Create a safe space for your dog to relax
  • Keep human food and drink out of reach
  • Make sure your pet's collar is on and id tags are attached and contain current information

Think about your pet's specific needs too! You probably know your pet pretty well, so you can set them up for success. For example, if you know they aren’t a fan of large groups of people, then set them up in a quiet spot in the house when you have folks over. If your pet gets overly excited greeting guests, get a good exercise session in before guests arrive, and keep them confined until everyone is settled in.

Brush up on Basic Manners

Now is the time to practice some of your pet’s basic skills to keep them sharp for the holidays. Practicing skills such as calm greetings, relax on a mat, coming when called, and leave it are great ones to hone in on for the holidays. Consider 5-10 minutes a day of practice to help reinforce these behaviors. These training sessions are also a wonderful way to help wear out your pet and provide them much-needed mental stimulation!

Maintain your Routine

Sometimes the holidays make turn our daily lives upside down and we lose some of our routine. This can impact our pets too and cause some stress. Keep your pet's routine as normal as possible including their exercise, play, and feeding times. Be sure you provide them the attention they are accustomed to and keep their belongings, such as their bed, food and water bowls, and toy bins, in the same areas they normally are.

Be Aware of Hazards

The holiday season brings about decorations and food that may be hazardous to your pet. To help keep your pet safe, be sure to:

  • Keep decorations, plants, and choking hazards out of reach
  • Don't feed your pet excess human food and make sure guests don't either
    • Ensure plates, cups, and napkins are disposed of and not left out
    • Often cups containing alcohol remnants are set on the floor where pets can get curious - even these small amounts of alcohol can be detrimental to a pet
  • If you're going to be out of the house, consider putting your pet in a safe room or crate where they cannot get into any holiday decorations, presents, or plants