Published on: November 30, 2023
Author: Lauren Piandes
Category: Holidays, Pet Safety

We can’t believe the holidays are finally here! While preparing for your various celebrations, it’s important to remember that colorful lights and decorations, various baked goods, and colder weather could potentially cause your pet harm. Here are a few ways to pet-proof your holiday:


Don’t Share Your Holiday Feast

This is one of the circumstances where you can tell your children it’s okay not to share! I’m sure you’re already aware that chocolate, onions, grapes, and nuts can have deadly effects on pets, but even meats such as turkey and meat gravy can cause serious health issues if given as a treat. Make sure to clear the table off quickly after meals in case your pet is a food thief and keep the party snacks high up and away from exploratory noses and mouths.

What to do instead: give your pet a different flavor of their normal food or a special holiday-style treat from your local pet supply store. This way your pet is involved in the holiday festivities without having a taste for people food.


Watch Out for Open Windows & Doors While Cleaning or Bringing in Gifts

If you’re anything like me, there is nothing like some fresh, crisp air while cleaning and decorating (depending on how cold it is!). This may be a prime opportunity for your pet to take themselves on a holiday stroll. Another thing to look out for is keeping the door open for extended periods of time while bringing in gifts from outside.

How to prevent escapee pets: Before opening the windows, make sure your screens aren’t broken or have holes in them. For taking in holiday gifts from the car, first go into your home without anything in your hands to lock up your pets in a safe room. That way you can keep the door open as you transport everything from your car to your home.


Upgrading Your Décor

There are a few different ways to upgrade your décor to protect your pet from causing a mess or hurting themselves. Here are a couple tips for the most popular holiday items:


Christmas Trees & Glass Ornaments: if you’re the owner of a rambunctious cat like myself, then you live in constant fear of the tree getting knocked over while you sleep (this did come to fruition for me last holiday, and it was not fun). That, and of course, drinking the tree’s water (if you have a real one), and shattering glass ornaments that can spell danger for the whole family.

How to fix this: There are a few ways to remedy this: You could always opt for a fake tree and decorations made of fabric. Or, if you have traditions around a new tree and glass décor, you could use a kiddie fence and surround the base of your tree with it. This way you can deter your pet from coming near the tree and drinking the water, and you can protect any presents from getting chewed up.


Candles: No matter what you celebrate this holiday season, candles are usually involved in one way or another. Make sure to keep them in high places far away from where pets can knock them over and accidentally start a fire.

How to prevent a fire: Consider using candles with faux flames for decorations. For religious items, it’s best to keep it out of reach, or keep your pet out of the room it’s placed in.


Tinsel & Plants: Tinsel and certain holiday plants like poinsettia can cause serious internal issues if ingested, which can result in stressful and pricey vet visits.

How to prevent a vet visit: Ditch the tinsel! Switch it out for paper or cloth decorations that can be hung far away from pets’ reach, and fake poinsettias for your holiday table.


Create a Safe Space for Your Pet

Now that some are gathering in groups again, you may want to host holiday events at your home.  To keep your pet safe, you may want to create a safe space for them in a room far away from the festivities. Here are a few things you can put in the room to make the room as cozy as possible:

  • Water and food bowls
  • Your pet’s favorite toy(s)
  • A bed and/or blankets

You may also play some light music in that room, as it might be soothing for your pet.


We hope that these tips will help you navigate the holiday season and keep your pet (and you) stress free. Happy Holidays!