For humans, it may be the most wonderful time of the year, but for our pets, it can be a season of temptation and risk. No one wants to have an emergency interrupt your festive celebrations, so we’ve gathered together some expert pet holiday safety tips to help!

From food to presents to decorations, a little extra attention goes a long way.

Pet Holiday Safety Tips

There are several easy-to-remove dangers lurking in your home around the holidays. Use these tips to pet-proof!

🎄Don’ts for Holiday Decor

If you’ve decorated the house for the holidays, be careful with those decorations!

  • Keep electrical cords and wires out of your pet’s reach to prevent a potentially deadly electrical shock – especially in the case of cats who might be tempted to chew.
  • Secure that tree!
  • Ditch the tinsel – cats are often tempted by its sparkle, and it can be fun to bat around. But if they eat it it can cause an obstruction in the GI tract and bring on vomiting and other complications.
  • Blow out those candles.
  • Poinsettias are mildly toxic to both dogs and cats, and can cause vomiting, drooling, or diarrhea. They’re rarely serious, but it’s not a bad idea to keep them away, just in case.

🍖 No Bones About it

Well, cooked bones that is. Whether you’re doing a ham for 1 or a turkey for your whole family, those bones may be tempting to hand over to your pet. Don’t!

When bones are cooked, their composition changes and they become very brittle and can splinter. These sharp pieces can not only do damage in the mouth, they can also do damage as they travel along the digestive tract. Tears to the intestines, stomach, or esophagus are painful and life-threatening, and can leave you rushing to the vet for costly and invasive surgery. Cooked bones can also do damage to your dog’s teeth. Just keep the cooked bones for the compost pile rather than your dog’s bowl.

Instead, opt for raw bones – they’re healthy and are good for your dog’s teeth. Check out this post to find the right ones for your pup.

That doesn’t mean you have to compost them. Cooked bones make great bone broth! Here’s an easy recipe.

🍫 Frightening Food

These items often make the holiday treat list for humans, but keep them away from your pets:

  • Anything containing the sugar substitute Xylitol (it’s found in many sugar-free items)
  • Onions
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Hazelnuts and walnuts
  • Yeast dough

And while you may not be keeping them within visible reach, don’t forget about the treats that may be in presents under the tree or in stockings on the fireplace!

And speaking of presents, if you’re looking for gifts for your furry friends, SKIP THESE!

🏠 Safe Space

While most of us may be in some form of lockdown, making visits a no-go, if you’re in an area where visits are not restricted, be sure you’re giving your animal a safe space to retreat to if they need quiet time away. Remember to let kids know about what makes your pet uncomfortable. And watch that front door with any comings-and-goings.

Whether you have a new puppy or kitten, or an older pet, the holidays present challenges we don’t see any other time of the year. That said, with a little due diligence we can all enjoy the holiday season without putting our pets at risk.

Happy Holidays everyone!