Keeping your pet safe during festivities

The holiday season is a joyous time filled with laughter, joy, and love. It is a time to relax, enjoy good food, and make memories with loved ones, including our beloved pets. However, it is also a time when many accidents can happen that put our pets at risk. The decorations, the food, the tree, the hustle and bustle of holiday activity can all pose threats to your pet. This article offers tips on how to keep your pets safe during holiday festivities.

Keeping Your Pet Safe Around the Christmas Tree

One of the central features of many homes during the holidays is the Christmas tree. However, for curious pets like dogs and cats, it can pose a significant risk. Here are some tips to help ensure the safety of your pet around the tree.

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Firstly, make sure your tree is secure. Dogs might knock it over, and cats might try to climb it. A falling tree can injure your pet, so ensure it is stable and well anchored.

Next, be mindful of the decorations you use. Shiny, glittering objects can attract pets, but small decorations can be a choking hazard if swallowed. So, hang small and fragile ornaments high on the tree, out of reach.

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Finally, avoid tinsel. Cats especially love to play with these shiny, dangling decorations, but if swallowed, it can block their intestines, which is potentially fatal.

Safe Holiday Decorations for Your Pet

Beyond the tree, other holiday decorations can also pose risks to your pets. Here are ways to keep your pet safe with holiday decor.

Candles are a common sight during the holidays. Keep them on high shelves or behind a protective glass barrier. If knocked over, they can burn your pet or start a fire.

Holiday plants like poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe are poisonous to dogs and cats. Keep these plants out of reach, or opt for pet-safe plants.

Electrical cords for lights can cause shocks or burns if your pet chews on them. Keep cords out of sight, or use a cord protector.

Holiday Food and Your Pet

Holiday feasts are one of the highlights of the season, but not all human food is safe for pets. Here’s how to keep your pet safe during meal times.

Never feed your pet food that contains chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, or artificial sweeteners, as these are toxic to both dogs and cats.

Bones, especially poultry bones, can splinter and cause choking or damage to your pet’s digestive system. Always dispose of bones securely.

To avoid overfeeding and digestive upset, keep your pet on their regular diet during the holidays.

Also, make sure your pet has no access to alcohol. Even small amounts can be dangerous.

Keep Your Pet Calm and Secure During the Holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time for pets. Changes in routine, unfamiliar faces, and loud noises can cause anxiety in dogs and cats.

Provide a quiet, safe space for your pet to retreat to when they feel stressed. Make sure this area includes their favorite toys, bedding, and water.

Also, try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible. Regular feeding times, walks, and playtimes can help reduce stress.

Ensuring a Safe and Happy Holiday for Your Pet

In conclusion, while the festive season is a time of joy and celebration, it can also bring about potential hazards for your pets. By taking the time to pet-proof your home, being mindful of the food and drink your pet has access to, and providing them with a safe and calm environment, you will ensure that they too can enjoy a safe and happy holiday. Remember, your pet relies on you for their safety and wellbeing, so it’s important to stay vigilant during the festivities.

Precautions for Pet Safety During Holidays Gatherings

Holiday gatherings are a joyous occasion for everyone – including your pet. However, they can also present certain hazards for your pets. The presence of guests, combined with the overall excitement, can lead to accidents or stress for your dogs or cats. Here are some guidelines to keep your pets safe during these festivities.

When expecting guests, inform them ahead of time about your pets. Remind your guests not to feed your pets any human food, especially those mentioned earlier that are toxic to them. Some guests might not be aware of what is safe and what is not safe for pets to consume. It’s better to prevent an incident by educating your guests about pet safety.

If you have a dog, make sure that your dog food is stored properly and is not accessible to your guests. Someone might unknowingly feed your dog a quantity that is either too much or not suited for them.

It would be best to keep your pets in a different room when everyone is at the dining table. This would keep them from begging for food and prevent them from ingesting something harmful.

For your cat, ensure that your guests are aware of the cat’s presence. Cats can be very stealthy and might sneak up on someone, potentially leading to an accident.

Lastly, if your pet seems stressed with the presence of many people, it might be best to give them a quiet space. Explain to your guests that your pet needs some alone time.

What to Do in Case of an Emergency

Despite our best efforts to keep our pets safe during the holiday season, accidents can still happen. It is essential to know how to respond in case of an emergency.

First, keep your veterinarian’s number handy. If your pet ingests something harmful or seems unwell, don’t hesitate to call your vet. Time is of essence in these situations and swift action can often determine the outcome.

Similarly, keep the number of an emergency vet clinic handy. These are usually open 24/7, even on holidays. This would be especially useful if something were to happen outside of your regular vet’s hours.

For minor accidents like a small cut from a broken Christmas tree ornament, make sure you have a pet first aid kit at home. This should include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, a digital thermometer, and a pet carrier for transportation to the vet clinic if necessary.

Lastly, remember to stay calm and composed. Your pet can sense your anxiety and it will only stress them out more.


In conclusion, the festive season, while being a time of merriment and joy, can present a range of potential risks to your pets. By pet-proofing your home, using safe decorations, being careful with food and drinks, and maintaining a calm environment, you can ensure that your pet will also have a safe and happy holiday. Remember, your pet depends on you for their safety and wellbeing. It is important to stay vigilant, plan ahead, and know what to do in case of an emergency. This way, you and your pets can enjoy the holiday season to the fullest.