‘Tis The Season for Holiday Pet Safety Tips

DCAH_iStock_000030968938_LargeWe’ve had the honor of serving our community for over 30 years, and the lessons we’ve learned from each and every pet along the way are invaluable. We truly care about our clients and patients, and we want to ensure the holiday season is full of all the good stuff: gingerbread houses, snuggling with your four-legged friend, laughter, spending time with family, and much more. That’s why we’re reviewing a few of our most important holiday pet safety tips and tricks.

Real Versus Artificial

The holidays are brimming with lovely greenery. It’s all so beautiful – but some of it is potentially toxic to your pet. While we understand the desire for real plants this time of year, be careful what you bring inside your home. Never leave the following at ground-level:

  • Poinsettia
  • Mistletoe
  • Holly
  • Lilies

If your pet displays signs of poisoning, such as vomiting or diarrhea, don’t hesitate to contact us. Also check out this helpful guide to learn more about which plants are safe for your pet.

A Word About the Focal Point

The Christmas tree is a fabulous display of shiny ornaments and bright lights. We can barely contain ourselves upon seeing one up close, and the same is probably true for your puppy or kitten (or even a seasoned senior pet). If you have a real tree, consider the following holiday pet safety tips:

  • Anchor your tree to the wall or ceiling. It’s not uncommon for pets to attempt to climb to the top of a tree.
  • Avoid hanging breakable glass or ceramic ornaments at the bottom of your tree. An enthusiastic tail could lead to broken shards on the floor, and your pet could be tempted to lick them up or step on them.
  • Cover the tree stand with an extra tree skirt or other deterrent. A thirsty pet could be poisoned from the fire-retardants, pesticides, or preservatives that leak into the water from the tree.
  • Tinsel is so delicate and simple, but it can wreak havoc on a pet’s GI tract, possibly leading to surgery. For your pet’s safety, it’s best to exclude it from your holiday display.

Party Time!

Hosting family and friends this year? If your pet is perfectly at ease with chaos and unpredictability, feel free to integrate him or her into the festivities. Any signs of unrest (e.g., increased vocalization, aggression, counter surfing, begging for food, darting out the door) may warrant some alone time in a quiet area of your home. Make sure your pet has access to fresh water, his or her favorite bedding, and some toys.

Also consider boarding your pet with us. A home away from home is always an option for you and your pet during the holidays, and we pride ourselves on taking complete care of our guests.

Other Holiday Pet Safety Tips


For your pet’s general wellness, it’s a good rule of thumb to not offer or allow access to any of these dangerous people foods:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (common sugar substitute)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Grapes or raisins
  • Uncooked dough
  • Rich, fatty foods

Instead, include your pet in the festivities with these pet-safe foods.

And, while lovely holiday candles help set the mood for the meal and other festivities, you’ll want to be sure to keep them safely out of your pet’s reach.  Never leave a burning candle unattended!

From our family to yours, we wish you a very happy holiday season. For any additional holiday pet safety tips, please feel free to contact us. Cheers!