How To Keep Your Pets Safe During The Holiday Season

Pet Travel Center

The holidays are an amazing time! Impressively decorated trees and more food than you have ever seen in your life mark the season. There is a reason people call this the most wonderful time of the year. But for all the magic this time of year brings, it bears pitfalls as well.

This joyful time brings many opportunities for your pets to get into trouble that will make them ill or worse. Some foods that are common in our holiday diets are not healthy for cats and dogs. Christmas trees pose hazards as well. Not to mention the stress caused by strangers going in and out of their homes. You can still enjoy the holidays without causing harm to your pets. Let’s look at ways to keep your pets safe while still enjoying the holiday season.

1. Anchor your Christmas tree in place

For some families, decorating their tree is like creating a work of art. There are so many bells and whistles to decorate their trees. Despite all of this, there is one thing these trees often lack—security. The Christmas trees just st and there with nothing holding them in place. That could pose a huge problem for our animals. If they get into the tree and knock it over, they could cause serious harm.

Anchor your tree in place, if you have pets and a Christmas tree in your home.

This way, your animal can’t pull it down and get hurt. You may also try to put gates around it when you are not home, so your pet can’t get near it.

2. Avoid tinsel on your Christmas trees

This is a good thing to avoid if you have pets. But it is especially important to avoid if you have cats. If cats get the tinsel off your tree and into their mouths, that is a recipe for a bowel obstruction. And tinsel is shinny; you know a cat will not be able to resist.

Save yourself any trouble; skip the tinsel if you have pets.

Other decorations are just as pretty.  

3. Put the pets away as guests are coming in and out of the house

If you host people for parties and holiday meals, put the pets away while the guests are coming in and out. Having a lot of guests can make some animals quite nervous. Other animals may like the company but could find a way to sneak out when people are going in and out of the house.

During larger parties, keep your pets in a spare room with their favorite toys and treats for their safety.

To keep your pets safe during the holiday season make preparations with your pets in mind.
To keep your pets safe during the holiday season make preparations with your pets in mind.

4. Avoid feeding your pets table scraps

Our pets look so adorable when they beg for bites of our food. Those sad eyes make it very hard for us to say no. But the majority of the time, we should deny it, especially for cats. Common items we use to season our food with like garlic and onions are toxic to pets. So are sweets like chocolate. Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis.

As a general rule, don’t let your pets have any of the holiday food.

It will save you the trip to an emergency vet.

5. Wrap all the wires used to power your holiday decorations

This is a habit you should be using anyway. Our pets see the wires that power the items in our homes and think they have found a new chew toy. Instead, they have found something that will zap them with electricity. High voltage may harm or even kill them.

Go to your hardware or department store to look for items that will cover wires so our pets can’t chew them.

6. Keep toxic plants out of your home

We have all heard about the dangers of lilies and their pollen for cats. They are not the only toxic plant—poinsettias are just as dangerous. While these plants are synonymous with the holidays, don’t have one in your home. The same goes for cedar, mistletoe, and holly.

Avoid holiday plants, like lilies, poinsettias, cedar, mistletoe, and holly; they can be lethal to pets.

Quick Tips for Holiday Travel

If you decide to bring your pets with you on a holiday trip, here are a couple of points to keep in mind:

  • If you are flying, make sure the carrier can fit under the seat. You will not be able to fly with a large dog unless it is a service dog or emotional support animal. Else it doesn’t fly in the cabin with you.
  • If you are driving, don’t let your animal w ander in the car. Keep them restrained for safety.
  • Have a copy of your pet’s medical records as part of an emergency kit with you, just in case. 


The holidays should be a joyous time for everyone, even our pets. And with the right precautions, they can be. Use these tips on how to keep your pets safe during the holiday season so everyone—human, canine, and feline—can have a Happy Festivus. We all love our vets, but we don’t need to bring them extra business during the holidays. 

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