4 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Holidays

The holidays are approaching fast! As seasonal activities and festivities ramp up, many of our furry buddies will be paying very close attention as their favorite humans cook, decorate, and wrap gifts. While this special time of year offers a wonderful chance to spend time with our loved ones, it can be dangerous for our animal companions. Here, a vet lists some ways to keep your pet safe during the holiday rush.

Avoid Dangerous Foods

Fido and Fluffy will be paying very close attention to those delicious holiday foods. It’s absolutely fine to include your pet in the festivities by giving them special snacks, but be very careful with what you feed your pet. Many popular foods are toxic to our four-legged friends! Some of the things you’ll want to avoid giving your little (or not so little) buddy are garlic, onions, and chives; meat on the bone; grapes, currants, and raisins; chocolate; nuts; alcohol; pitted fruits, especially avocados; raw dough, meat, or yeast; and anything containing xylitol. Ask your vet for more information.


Many seasonal items can be very dangerous for our furry friends. Tinsel, ribbons, glass ornaments, ornament hooks, and hanging decorations can all choke or injure playful pets. Candles, heaters, and fireplaces are also hazardous for dogs and cats. Additionally, several seasonal plants, such as poinsettias and mistletoe, are toxic to our four-legged companions. Do some pet proofing, and remove or secure hazardous items.

Provide A Safe Haven

Are you hosting a big gathering this year? Crowds and commotion can be quite scary for our furry pals, so you may want to consider setting your pet up in a quiet back room with their food, toys, and treats. It can be very easy for a dog or cat to slip out the door as guests are coming or going! You also don’t want to risk your pet getting accidentally stepped on.

Weather Protection

It can get chilly this time of year, even in warmer climates. Make sure your dog or cat has a nice, comfy bed to snuggle up in. If you have a dog with thin fur, consider getting Fido a cute holiday outfit to keep him comfortable on cold days.

Our Advice on Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Holidays in 2024

How can you make your home safer for your pet during the holidays?

To ensure your home is safe for pets during the holidays, start by pet-proofing against hazardous decorations like tinsel, ribbons, and glass ornaments which pose choking or injury risks. Secure or remove these items, along with any toxic plants like poinsettias and mistletoe. Keep all foods that are dangerous to pets, including chocolate, nuts, and grapes, out of reach. Create a quiet, safe space for your pet to retreat from the hustle and bustle of holiday gatherings, ensuring they have access to their bed, food, toys, and water.

How can you protect your pet from cold weather during the holidays?

To protect your pet from cold weather during the holidays, ensure they have a warm, comfortable bed away from drafts. For pets spending time outside, provide adequate shelter that is insulated and waterproof. Dogs with thin fur may benefit from wearing a cozy sweater or coat when outdoors. Limit time spent in extreme cold to prevent frostbite and hypothermia, especially for smaller or older pets. Always wipe down your pet’s paws after being outside to remove any ice, salt, or chemicals that could be harmful if ingested.

Besides decorations, are there dangers in the gifts themselves?

Yes, the gifts themselves can pose dangers to pets. Items like small toys or batteries can be swallowed, leading to choking or internal blockages. Wrapping materials such as ribbons or yarn can also be hazardous if ingested, causing intestinal issues. Additionally, many holiday gifts, like chocolates or food items containing xylitol, are toxic to pets. It’s important to keep gifts, especially those containing these items, away from pets and to promptly clear away wrapping materials to ensure your furry friends stay safe during the holiday celebrations.

What should you do if your pet is injured or eats something dangerous while your regular vet’s office is closed for the holiday?

If your pet is injured or ingests something dangerous during the holidays when your regular vet’s office is closed, immediately contact the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. Keep emergency numbers, including a 24-hour animal poison control hotline, readily accessible. Do not attempt to treat your pet without professional advice, as this could worsen their condition. Provide as much information as possible about the incident when you call, including what your pet ingested or how they were injured, to get specific instructions on immediate actions to take while en route to the clinic.

Are fireworks a concern for your pet, and how can you minimize their fear during celebrations?

Fireworks are indeed a concern for many pets, as the loud noises can cause anxiety, fear, and even panic. To minimize their fear, create a calm, safe space in a quiet room where your pet can retreat. Close windows and curtains to dampen the sound and keep bright flashes out. Playing soft music or white noise can also help mask the sounds of fireworks. Consider anxiety-reducing products like a pheromone diffuser, anxiety vests, or consult your vet for medication if your pet has severe anxiety. Always ensure your pet has identification in case they become startled and escape.

Happy Holidays! Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? We can help! Contact us, your local animal clinic in Powdersville, SC, today!

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