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Pet Safety for the Holidays

Updated on November 29, 2014

The holidays are fast approaching and many of us are thinking about meals, parties, and gifts for friends and family. The Christmas play at church, or who’s having Thanksgiving dinner? These are most certainly important things to consider, but what about our pets.

During the holiday season we need to take extra precautions with our pets. There are so many things that can harm or kill your pet, and we never even give it a thought. It’s not because we don’t care; it’s because we are so busy that we don’t think much about it.

With Halloween over it’s important to remember that candy is a very bad idea for our pets. Chocolate can be poison to our dogs, it can cause their kidneys to shut down. Even if they don’t get chocolate, the sugar is terrible for them, causing diarrhea, vomiting and possible kidney failure. In short, candy can make your pet very sick or cause them to die.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and this means FOOD! I know that many people out there give their pets’ table food, or people food. This is not a good idea for you or your pet. It can cause your pet to have an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting and possible choking. The choking comes in when you give your pet chicken, turkey, duck or goose scraps containing bones. The bones can get hung in the throat of your pet or even in their digestive tract causing a blockage that may lead to surgery or death.

Personally, I prefer not to give my dogs table scraps because I don’t like cleaning up the mess afterward.

Christmas is a wonderful time for some, and for others it’s just a time of stress and not enough rest. So it’s no wonder that pets may not be our first priority. That’s understandable, but by following these tips you can prevent injury or the death of your pet during the holiday season.


  • Make sure that your Christmas tree is secure. The last thing that you or anyone wants is for the cat or dog to knock over the tree. They could get injured not to mention all of the other damage that can and will be done.

  • If you have a real Christmas tree take care to keep your pet out of the water. Your tree has been fertilized while planted at the tree farm and the chemicals will get into the water and cause stomach upset or worse to your pet. Not to mention that stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria and this can make your pet ill.

  • Wires are a hazard for your pet, if they chew on them they can be a shock hazard causing injury or death.

  • Batteries, often we don’t give this a thought. However, when chewed on the battery acid will cause severe burns where ever it touches.

  • Glass and plastic can cause cuts so keep them out of your pets’ reach.

  • Poison ~ mistletoe, holly berries, and poinsettias ~ especially to cats. It’s best to keep all floral arrangements out of your pets’ reach.

  • Fire is a hazard during the holiday season. Never leave a lit candle unattended a curious cat can knock it over causing a fire. Pets may also burn themselves on the flame; the best bet would be the battery operated candles.

  • When choosing your pets’ toys choose wisely. There are so many toys out there to choose from, so consider your pet. Does your pet like to chew? Will they destroy the toy that you are considering? If so maybe you should choose a different toy. A safe bet would be a chew toy, tug toys, and healthy treats.

  • Around New Year’s many people like to put off fireworks. If your pet is afraid of loud noises please take care to secure your pet for their safety. Loud noises may cause your pet to run away so keep them as far away from the noise as possible and make sure that they are not able to get out and run.

We all love our pets, and we should be aware that the holiday season is the most dangerous time for them by taking some precautions we can prevent the loss of pets during this time.

Small Dogs

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Pet Safety

Many people don't mean to overlook their pets during the holidays, it just happens that way. So often we have families, functions, and obligations to fulfill and things just happen.

The best way to protect your pet is to prevent issues before they become issues. Take a look around your house and remove any hazards or temptations for your pet. Often what happens is you are not around as much during the holiday season and your pet will get bored. Boredom may cause your pet to do things they wouldn't normally do.

I recommend that you remove potential hazards and be patient.

Pet Safety

Even the smallest thing can be a hazard. Any of that stuff on the floor could be a problem for your pet.
Even the smallest thing can be a hazard. Any of that stuff on the floor could be a problem for your pet.

Pet Safety

Poinsettias are not harmful to pets.

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    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A great read.

      Well presented ,useful and interesting.


    • velzipmur profile image

      Shelly Wyatt 3 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks so much for adding!! I never thought about hanging the tree from the ceiling ~ great idea.

      Again ~ thanks AnniAz2

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I remember one year when my cats were just kittens that we hung our tree from the ceiling where they couldn't reach it. Now, since their older, they don't bother it as much although I still have to watch them. I keep the glass bulbs up where they can't reach them. Another thing I quit doing was using tinsel - calls will eat it sometimes and that can be bad.