10 Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays

1. Give your pet a little space.

While most of us love the music, children, and noise that comes with our holiday guests, our pets often don’t. They can become too excited, confused, or even frightened! Make sure your dog has a safe and quiet place to go when your guests arrive.

2. Traveling

Planning on traveling this holiday season? Make sure you have current ID on your dog, or a microchip with up-to-date contact information. Be sure to bring your dog’s bed and favorite toys to help make them feel more comfortable in a strange place.

3. Beware of the Sweets!

With all of the homemade fudge and sweet treats around, be extra careful to keep the chocolate out of reach from your dogs. Chocolate is a serious pet-poisoning risk. If a dog eats chocolate, call a veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center National Hotline immediately: 888-426-4435.

4. Dog-Proof Your Christmas Tree

If you are using a live Christmas tree for the holiday season, be sure to cover the water stand. Water and pine sap can create a poisonous drink for your pet. Try to secure your tree to a ceiling or wall to prevent toppling over should your dog jump on it or accidently knock it over. Often, dogs will urine-mark trees. In order to prevent this, bring your artificial or live tree into the house a few days prior to setting it up. This will allow the tree to smell more like “home.”

5. Decorations

When it comes to ornaments, make sure to pick up any extra hooks, tinsel, or ribbons. Your dog could get injured if they were to ingest any of these things. If you have a pet that is tempted to play with the ornaments on your tree, fill the bottom third of the tree with plastic or wooden ornaments to avoid any potential risks.

6. Electrical Cords

Electrical cords are another potential holiday hazard. Electrocution from chewing on an electrical cord is the single most common type of electrical injury for household pets! Chewing on these cords can give your dog harmful jolts, burns, and an abnormal heartbeat. Make sure to protect your furbaby by keeping all cords secured and out of the way!

7. Pick Safe Christmas Plants

Popular decorative plants like holly, mistletoe, and the poinsettia can be poisonous if ingested. Holly contains a toxin called saponin, which can cause serious gastrointestinal distress when eaten. The leaves or berries of mistletoes can cause severe upset stomach and a slowed heartbeat for your pup. The poinsettia flower can be toxic when ingested in large quantities, causing diarrhea, excessive drooling, and vomiting. Even Christmas bouquets and floral arrangements that contain lilies are also very hazardous to pets. Please keep these plants in mind when you go to purchase your plants for the holidays!

8. Holiday Dinners

Certain staples of our holiday dinners such as turkey, fatty meats, or salty snacks can be a major stomach concern to our four-legged friends. Keep these items out of reach for your dog. Advise your holiday guests to not feed your dog any scraps to avoid any digestive upset.

10. Gifts

It’s Christmas and your pets deserve some gifts too! Toys are a great way to spoil them and provide them with mental stimulation. Toys also allow you to spend time with your dog and strengthen the bond you have with them. Beware of novelty themed holiday toys. They are often cheaply made and can be destroyed more easily. While we want to spoil them, be mindful of how many treats you’re buying your dog! (A few won’t hurt 😉)

10. Fireworks!

Fireworks, horns, bells, and whistles can be extremely frightening to the sensitive ears of pets. Make sure pets are in a safe place away from the noise and that they can’t escape the house or yard. If you are unable to bring your dog somewhere away from the fireworks, giving them a spot they feel safe in can help such as a crate, kennel, or even under your bed. Speaking to your dog in a calm soothing voice while petting them will also help ease their anxiety.

Please feel free to call us if you have any questions.

We wish you and all of your furbabies a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for a wonderful year!


Suzette Tardo-Fowler, Owner