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‘Tis the Season: How to Keep Your Pets Safe Throughout the Holiday Festivities

Posted by Caroline Aro on 11/01/2023

While we want to include all members of our family in holiday festivities and traditions, it’s important to keep in mind some safety tips to keep your furry friends safe and happy. The holidays can be a busy time, but it’s best to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine – pets do well with stability and this should help keep stress levels low.

Black Newfoundland dog laying on Kuranda bed outdoors in the snow
Homer the Newfoundland in his element. Photo courtesy of @homer_the_newf on Instagram.

Keep these winter safety tips in mind for any walks or outdoors activities while keeping up with your pet’s routine!


Garlands, streamers, tinsel, Christmas trees, ornaments… There are many holiday decorations that can be found around the house during the holidays, so check your list and check it twice to keep your pets safe!

Yellow lab on a Kuranda bed with blanket in front of a Christmas tree.
Gracie the Labrador comfy on her Kuranda Bed, Photo Courtesy of @graciethelabrador on Instagram.

Christmas Trees

  • Be sure that your Christmas tree is securely anchored to avoid any toppling timbers that could injure you or your pets.
  • Pine needles can be dangerous if ingested; they can become lodged in the intestinal tracts, causing blockage and potential punctures.
  • Stagnant water under the tree can become a breeding ground and the bacteria may cause nausea or diarrhea.


  • We aren’t the only ones who love all things shiny – pets are just as intrigued by sparkly things, so be sure to keep tinsel and string lights away from your animals! Ingesting any of these brilliant baubles could lead to illness or even a very expensive emergency vet visit.


  • In general, it’s best practice to not leave lit candles unattended for safety reasons and that doesn’t change just around the holidays especially around your pets!

Do your best to keep any decorations, gift wrapping or plants inaccessible to your pets to avoid ingestion, intestinal blockage or sickness.


Many holidays are centered around the extensive arrays of food and shared meals with family. Now is as good a time as any to be aware of the foods your pets could possibly get into, from sweets to dinner leftovers, cocktails or even food scraps that are discarded in the trash.

Keep any foods inaccessible to pets and try not to leave your plates unattended. While all the food can be enticing to your pets, it can cause a potential health hazard so as a compromise, you can always present them with a new special treat or toy! Give them a durable toy or healthy snack to keep them occupied and happy.

Party Time!

Parties, family gatherings and visitors coming and going is not uncommon during this season. How can you best prepare your pet for these changes? Be sure to set house rules for any guests and keep an eye on the door to avoid any potential jailbreaks as you welcome friends into your home.

Gatherings can be incredibly overstimulating for your animals and it’s important to give them their own little safe space. Leaving a quiet empty room away from the holiday hustle and bustle will be very much appreciated by your kitty or pup.

Besides normal party goings on, New Years can be a big hub for hubbub. Confetti, poppers, fireworks and noisemakers can be hard on your pets’ sensitive ears and can even cause damage. Having a safe, secure and quiet place for your pet is particularly essential here.


Our pets are just as much a part of the family as their human counterparts. Considering traveling with your pet this holiday season? Be sure that you pack everything your pet will need supplies-wise; food, medications, first aid, copies of their medical records and vet contact info.

Discuss your travel plans with your vet, especially if you intend on flying because this can pose health risks to pets. Be sure to thoroughly research how to travel by plane with a pet ahead of time, especially if you’re traveling internationally. Regulations may vary by airline and country.

Anytime you travel by car, be sure that your pet is safely restrained with a harness or carrier, clear of the airbags.

Confirm with your lodging (hotel, Airbnb, rental etc.) that pets are allowed and that the location will be suitable and safe for your pet.

In Case of Emergency

Identify the nearest 24/7 emergency vet clinic – better be prepared than to be rushing in case of emergency! Keep that contact information in addition to your regular vet’s in your phone or somewhere easily accessible.

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