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Celebrations And Pet Safety

Updated on October 27, 2011

Celebrations mean the gathering of a wide variety of people of all ages and personalities. Celebrations mean excitement, activity, decorations, special foods, and a flurry of activity, often late into the night.

Human beings look forward to any celebration or holiday with a variety of emotions, usually excitement and joy. Excitement and joy for pets is associated with long walks, the sight of a loved one, and a good meal.

Pets are creatures of habit. Although their personalities may vary, they thrive with routine, good food, regular exercise, appropriate toys, love, and a comfortable bed.

The significance we place on celebrations and holidays has no meaning for pets, and the associated activities may leave them confused, neglected, nervous, and fearful.

There are a few things that you can do to keep your pets contented and safe during any celebration.

1. Keep your pet on his/her regular routine. If they don't have one, establish one. Feed, play, exercise, and rest. During busy seasons of the year, tend to your pet first. They will then be calm and content as you go about more exciting business. If you are having guests, give your pet an extra long walk, before the guests arrive.

2. When you have visitors, unless they are few, and well known and liked by your pet, make sure you consider your pets best interest. Some pets enjoy company, some dislike strangers, and some get overly excited. Whichever is the case, the best option is to allow a short visit, then off to a quiet room with some favorite chewable toys, a treat, and a comfortable bed.

3. Nervous, ill, very young, and elderly pets need your protection. These pets are better off away for varied and sundry guests. Establish a safe, quiet, and comfortable area, for your pets, and use it when needed.

It is important to realize that nervous or ill pets may respond to unwanted attention by growling, snapping, and even biting. This is not the pets fault. It is a normal reaction to what the pet views as a threat.

4. A word about children. Almost all children love animals and wish them no harm. Unfortunately many children are not taught how to teat animals, especially strange ones. As a result these children may pull, poke, drag, and generally harass any pet. In response, the animal may scratch, nip, or bite. If you are having children in your home, allow them a brief, supervised visit with your pets. The pet then needs to be left alone, if you have any concerns, in a locked room.

5. Some animals love to perform and march around wearing the antlers and party hats. Other cringe at the sight of them. The photographs may look adorable, but at what price to the happiness of your pet. You may be entertained by the sight, but respect your pets as you respect your peers,

6. Be aware that there are many foods and plants that we enjoy. These same plants and foods can kill a pet or make them seriously ill. This is because some pets will consume anything that is presented to them or left available. The digestive system of pets is different from that of humans. And yes, I have heard all the stories of pets enjoying things said to be poisonous for them, but why take a chance. Foods known to be potentially poisonous to pets include:


grapes and raisins



macademia nuts and walnuts

bread dough


onions, mushrooms, and

many fruits and their pits

There are literally hundreds of other foods that are potentially poisonous to pets, so many in fact that it is clear - pets should eat pet food, and only pet food.

Plants potentially poisonous to pets include, among others:






Christmans Rose


peace lily, and

many bulbs

Pets can safely enjoy a variety of treats. You cannot go wrong with a good quality of dog biscuit, suited to your pet's size. For special occasions, you can give a very small bit of meat, chicken, or fish (no bones). Some pets like a small piece of cheese, apple, or raw carrot. Small is the key. It's gone in a flash anyway. If you have any doubts about treats, consult your veterinarian. They know you pet and what is best for them.

Responsible pet owners realize, that, unlike our children, who grow up, learn, and and leave us, our pets are with us for life, dependent on us throughout their lives, for food, shelter, exercise, love, and a safe and long life.

Many pets become ill, injured and die, during celebrations and holidays. Don't let yours be among them.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Billips, What a caring, compassionate, convincing article on happy celebrations which are considerate of pets! In particular, you do a great job of identifying the problem situations and offering alternatives and solutions (such as the potential problems of pets performing, being around children, etc.).

      Thank you for caring and sharing,


    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 

      6 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      Great hub.Keep the ball rolling.

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      You are most welcome - I'm glad to help in any way I can - regards- B.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      I really appreciate your great advice on the barking and food issues. My dogs do know the sit command but staying seated is still an issue. I havn't done much training on the food thing. I have some training ahead of me but it's so worth it. Thanks so much for taking time to help me out with my doggie issues. I hereby name you "the dog whisperer."

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      12/13 . . .another GREAT hub, billips. Voted up and away. And you are very caring for writing a hub about this topic because holiday party season is upon us and there are people with pets who do NOT know that they might be harming their pets with things they leave around them. Cudo's to you for this hub. And FYI, there is NO contact billips on your profile for me to leave YOU my card of thanks for following me, so if its okay, I will leave it here. And thanks again.

      I am Honored to send You, My New Creative Writer Friend, billips, a Special hello.

      I am Very Glad that you are in my world. And pray that you will not be too bored with my hubs. And you may write me anytime. I love to hear what my friends are doing.

      And now, YOUR Note of Thanks . . .a SINCERE THANK YOU for following me. I TRULY VALUE my followers and I shall NOT take YOUR Warm Gesture for granted. Hopefully, my hubs will be educational, entertaining, a bit dramatic and most of the time, funny. NOT negative, abusive, or demeaning.

      If at any time my hubs offend or upset you, simply tell ME FIRST, and I will remedy the situation pronto.

      Again, THANK YOU!

      Sincerely, Kenneth.

      PS: Please feel free to send any tips, suggestions, information that you feel can benefit my writing abilities.

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi - thank you so much for commenting - like you I have two dogs - it is much harder to deal with two than just one - for the barking at guests, it is recommended that you start to greet guests with the dogs on a leash - you make the dog sit (I presume they understand 'sit' - if not that's the first thing for them to learn) - they must stay sitting while you open the door and greet the guests - since you have two dogs, a family member will have to take one - it would be best to try with a family member entering, before you try it with friends or strangers) - teaching a dog anything is a long process that takes patience, practice, and consistency - it will take several months, but then you will have controlled pets and next Christmas will be a treat for all of you - the taking of food can be very dangerous for pets - they have to learn the command 'leave it' - you start with a small treat on a chair nearby - when the pet goes to take it you say 'leave it' (having the dog on a leash for a while will help as you can give it a bit of a jerk) - praise your pet - walk the dog around and then approach the treat, repeating the lesson - after the lesson is over, put the treat away - some people give treats as rewards, I choose to use lots of verbal praise - this way, you can reward your pet for good behavior no matter where you are - you keep up the 'leave it' training with a variety of other dog treats as well as human food, put in a variety of places - this command takes a long time to perfect, especially if the pet is not a puppy - I have always taught my dogs to sit while I put down their food dishes - they are to sit until I say 'take it' (that means now you can eat) - preferably dogs should not eat anything, found, or given by anyone without the command 'take it' - this prevents them from being poisoned, accidentally or intentionally - now, don't think for a minute that my dogs are perfectly trained - they are not - I have trained my pets in the past and it is a long slow process - starting when they were pups, it took three sessions per day for several months - then it meant reinforcing the lessons and watching them like a hawk - now I only have rescue dogs, which are not puppies - they come with a total lack of training and some rather unpleasant habits - dogs are wonderful companions and with time can learn virtually anything but it takes time, dedication, unconditional love, patience and praise, praise, praise - I have a feeling that your dogs are happy, loved pets, and that's the most important thing -regards, B.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      I thank you so much for this great hub on animals and how to keep them safe and healthy during the holidays. The first couple times Christmas Eve was at my house, we sent our dogs off to the neighbors because some siblings didn't want them around. Our family missed them and felt angry that we were hosting the celebration, yet were being pushed to get rid of our dogs. We have had the dogs at the last two Christmas Eve celebrations and it's gone well except for the barking when guests arrive and trying to keep the food away from them. Any suggestions would be appreciated. My dogs are a very important part of my family and I will do the best to keep them feeling happy and safe. Thanks for a great article. It's made me stop and think more about the upcoming celebrations.

    • billips profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Central Texas

      I am so happy that there are so many people out there who are concerned about pet health and safety - pets are so loyal and uncomplaining - we sometimes forget we are their guardians for life.

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 

      7 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Though I would never give my dog coffee, I had no idea it would be dangerous for her. Thank you for this hub filled with important information for the safety of our pets! Voted up and useful

    • DIYweddingplanner profile image


      7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      This hub reminded me of our old Dalmatian, Pete, who was terrified of fireworks. New Year's and July 4 were a nightmare for him. I don't think people realize how sensitive animals are to sound and that they need to take precautions to make holidays easier for their pets. Interesting hub.

    • incomeguru profile image

      Oyewole Folarin 

      7 years ago from Lagos

      This is a very good information for those that really wants to learn. Some folks are so careless that there's nothing they can't leave outside that would harm their pet.

    • ChrisIndellicati profile image


      7 years ago from New York, NY

      I like this hub this is important information if your going to be a dog owner or any type of pet owner. Voted up and interesting!

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 

      7 years ago from Winnipeg

      Great hub on taking care of your pets when entertaining guests. My dog would eat anything so I had to be really careful. I never knew there were so many harmful foods! My cats can be nervous around guests initially so we are always mindful to tell our guest to approach them slowly when they first see them. Thanks for sharing this info. Rated Up!

    • doodlebugs profile image


      7 years ago from Southwest

      Very useful information Billips. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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