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The holidays are a fun time but can turn dangerous quickly for pets if proper precautions are not taken. It’s very important to prepare and decorate your home for the holidays with your pet in mind. Here are 13 of our best tips for keeping your pet safe during the holidays.

pet safety tips for the holidays

#1. Secure your tree.

If your pup is anything like Sassy, he or she gets the zoomies on occasion. Be sure to secure your tree so it doesn’t topple over should your pet decide to scale it or get the zoomies.

#2. Hide electrical cords.

Hiding cords under rugs, the tree skirt or even under furniture can help discourage pets from chewing on them.

#3. Avoid common plants that are poisonous: lilies, mistletoe, and holly.

We never get these plants but if you do, be sure to put them well out of reach of your pet on a high shelf.

#4. Crate pet when you can’t supervise them.

Crating your pet when you cannot supervise them, whether you are out shopping or just at work, is a great idea. Vet bills can be costly – hundreds to thousands of dollars – for Christmas injuries. Crating is much better than putting your pet’s health at risk. 

#5. Use unbreakable ornaments.

Breakable ornaments can cause paw injuries or internal injuries if ingested, so it’s best to use ornaments that don’t break. An ornament breaking may intrigue your pet and when they decide to investigate, they could be injured.

#6. Keep tree decorations above paw height.

Putting ornaments a bit higher on the tree can help discourage pets from stealing them off the tree or batting at them.

#7. Avoid tinsel, angel hair, string, and ribbon as tree decor.

These items can be ingested and cause an intestinal blockage. 

#8. Use string to hang decor instead of hooks.

Hooks, if ingested, can cause serious damage to your pet’s stomach.

#9. Keep candles out of reach.

Candles can be intriguing to pets and they may not realize they are dangerous. It is best to keep them on a counter or table somewhere out of reach to your pet.

#10. Real tree water additives can make your dog sick.

They contain chemicals that are dangerous to pets. Be sure to always supervise your pet around the tree stand with water in it.

#11. Clean up pine needles.

These can be harmful if your pet ingests them. Be sure to vacuum them up off the floor and tree skirt daily.

#12. Remember basic food safety tips for pets.

  • No alcohol
  • No fatty foods like turkey
  • No bones from ham or turkey.
  • No candy or baked goods unless you use a pet-friendly recipe. (Like this one!)
  • No chocolate, raisins, nuts, garlic, onions, or yeast dough.

#13. Remember your home is your pet’s home.

While COVID has put a damper on most large parties & gatherings, having anyone other than your normal family in your home can be overwhelming to some pets. Remember to keep their safe place accessible to them to avoid your pet becoming overstimulated.

#14. Consider adding gifts under the tree at the last minute.

Some pets might find gifts too irresistible and carry them off to open them to see what’s inside. You may want to add the gifts under the tree at the last minute before they will be opened.

If you don’t want to wait to put your gifts under the tree, just be sure not to leave any food gifts (meat & cheese trays for family, dog treats, etc.) or your mind find your pet unwrapping them early!

#15. Consider using baby gates around the tree to keep pets away from it.

A baby gate can be put around your tree to discourage pets from getting near it. Just be advised that particularly curious pets could jump over the gate still. 🙂

Remember it’s always best to supervise pets at all times during the holiday season!

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