The weeks between Halloween and New Year’s are arguably the most meaningful, dazzling, and fun, but that doesn’t mean we get to simply sit around and watch the holidays go by. Instead, we’re all booked solid with parties, shopping, gift exchanges, and cookie swaps. In the midst of all this frenzy, what is a pet to do with themselves? Without a proper nod to holiday pet safety, they could find themselves in danger.

First, the Food

The spotlight during the holidays is, of course, aimed at the endless varieties of food covering every possible surface. Many pets ignore the sheer volume of goodies, while others are overwhelmed with all there is to see, smell, and sample.

The foundation for all other holiday pet safety hinges on food awareness. In general, do not allow your pet access to the table, kitchen, or garbage can. Without rapt attention to your pet’s location, their proclivities for savory yum-yums could qualify them for a bona fide pet emergency.


We understand the draw to treat your pet during the holidays. Offer a plate just for them with healthy alternatives, such as apples, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and green beans. Only offer small bites of lean, fully cooked meat (or none at all). Rich, fatty foods can cause pancreatitis.

Also make sure your pet stays away from the following items:

  • Alcohol
  • Raisins or grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (a sugar substitute)
  • Onions or garlic
  • Bones
  • Raw bread dough

Holiday Pet Safety Tactics

Most pets simply cannot ignore the instinct to fully investigate that holiday tree in the corner. From the tallest tip to the lowest twig, keep an eye on your pet in the following ways:

  • The tree stand itself may have chemicals leaching into the water; do not allow your pet to drink from it.
  • Anchor the tree to the wall or ceiling in case your pet decides to climb it.
  • Avoid tinsel.
  • Keep light strands off the floor.
  • Take stock of items that may be enticing to chew on or eat. Remove and store.
  • Presents decorated with long, stringy ribbon should be hidden until it’s time to open gifts.
  • Food gifts should never be kept under the tree.
  • Lit candles or liquid potpourri should always be kept away from pets.
  • Snow globes can contain ethylene glycol (antifreeze). Keep out of reach.

Always Remember

Your pet will appreciate if meals, walks, and playtime continue at the same time every day. If you’re hosting guests, inform them of your pet’s needs and help them learn a bit about holiday pet safety.

  • Check and double check that your pet’s ID tags are secure.
  • Update microchip contact info, if applicable. This will prove helpful if your pet decides to dart out the front door amidst all the excitement of the season.

Your pet may need a place to rest away from all the chaos. Set up a quiet space with their crate, bedding, treats, water, and more. Pet anxiety can creep out of nowhere during the holidays; be sure to check in and monitor changes in behavior closely.

Stormy Weather

This time of year presents all sorts of changes. Increase your time outside (if you can!) and provide ample opportunities for your pet to strengthen the bond between you.

Once your pet is taken care of, you can sit back and relax with your friends and family knowing all threats are being kept at bay. If we can assist you further with holiday pet safety, please give us a call.

Without a proper nod to holiday pet safety, they could find themselves in danger.