Wrapped Up With a Bow, Holiday Pet Safety Is the Gift That Keeps On Giving

With so many distractions this time of year, our priorities can shift overnight. From cookie swaps to toy donation drives, potlucks to caroling, our collective calendars are simply overflowing – a fact not missed by most pets. As a result, the things that usually hold us together get flipped upside down.

Luckily, with an eye on prevention you can keep the good times rolling. Holiday pet safety doesn’t have to be confusing, and it doesn’t have to stand in the way of any seasonal fun.

Setting the Scene

Knowing that the holidays can get a little crazy, pet owners can get ahead of the storm by setting up a safe haven for their best friends. If you’re hosting, be sure your pet has a cozy, quiet place they can retreat to when the house gets packed. Crate training offers great relief to worried and tired pets.


  • Microchipping can ensure a safe reunion if you’re ever separated by stress or anxiety-induced escapes.
  • Be sure that your visitors keep purses and backpacks off the floor to reduce possible exposure to dangerous medications or candy.
  • Alternatively, board your pet with us to guarantee that they won’t be in harm’s way while you’re entertaining guests.

On Schedule

A great tactic to support overall holiday pet safety is to keep as close as possible to your pet’s pre-holiday schedule. They depend on consistent meal times and bathroom breaks spaced throughout each and every day. Extra opportunities for exercise and close interaction with their favorite humans can help keep potential hazards at bay.

Dangerous Decor

A huge threat to your holiday pet safety measures lies in the decor that make the season so wonderful. Please be sure to closely supervise your pet if/when you have any of the following items in the house, or consider not having them at all:

  • Christmas trees can tip or fall over on pets when they try to climb them. Standing water in the tree stand can have toxic levels of fertilizer, pesticides and fire retardent.
  • Plants like poinsettia, mistletoe and holly are poisonous if eaten.
  • Be cautious of breakable ornaments or knick-knacks.
  • String lights can cause electric shock or entanglement issues.
  • Snowglobes can have antifreeze inside them.
  • Live flame candles can singe whiskers and skin burns.
  • Watch out for batteries!
  • Tinsel

Holiday Pet Safety and the Table

Unfortunately, many of the dishes that make the holidays so amazing are the ones responsible for causing serious distress among the curious and hungry pet population. Be sure the following food items are never offered to your pet or left out for them to sample:

  • Grapes, raisins, currants
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Garlic 
  • Onions
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Xylitol (found in sura free baked goods and candy)
  • Rich, fatty foods like gravy, butter, and dark meat
  • Bones
  • Uncooked yeast dough

A Safe New Year

Pets are often given presents this time of year. There are no shortages to the possible toys and treats out there, but be sure your pet isn’t at risk when opening gifts. Ribbons, tape and gift wrap can become dangerous hazards to the GI tract. 

If you have further questions or concerns regarding holiday pet safety, please please let us know. Our doctors and staff members are always here for you. 

Happy (and safe) holidays from all of us at Ten West Bird & Animal Hospital!