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The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. It is important to acknowledge a few holiday pet safety tips to guarantee a merry season for everyone. The holidays bring out a number of unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations that can harm you pet. This article will ensure you and your pets have a happy and healthy holiday season through the new year!

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Seasonal Plants and Decorations

Christmas Tree:

Ensure your tree is secured and sturdy, whether fake or real, so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. If you have a real tree, be aware that the water, which may contain fertilizers, can cause stomach problems for pets if they take a drink from the base. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea.

Mistletoe & Holly:

Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal distress and cardiovascular problems when ingested. Holly can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if eaten. Opting for artificial plants made from silk or plastic can keep your furry friends safe.

Tinsel & Ornaments:

Cats and kittens love this sparkly, light-catching decoration. This “toy” is easy to bat around and carry in their mouths, but it is also easily swallowed, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possibly surgery. Glass ornaments are also enticing playthings for pets, but if broken pose potential harm. Hang ornaments out of paw’s reach or stay vigilant that decorations don’t become chew toys.


Don’t leave lit candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or knock candles over, causing a fire. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. If you leave the room, put the candle out!


Keep wires and batteries out of reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.

Avoid Holiday Food Dangers


By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate, but do you know the lengths to which a pet will go to get something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food. Be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans and inform guests to avoid sharing scraps.


Fatty, spicy and a number of human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends.  Make it clear to visitors that giving leftovers to your animal is not OK, no matter how much he or she begs. Your guests may think it’s harmless to give pets leftover turkey, chicken, beef or fish bones, but that’s not the case. Meat bones can splinter and perforate the intestinal tract or cause blockage. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills.


If your celebration includes adult beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot reach them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

Selecting Special Treats:

Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible for pets. Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery.

Planning a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering

Holiday pet safety planning doesn’t have to be tricky. Here are a few suggestions to keep your pet from being stressed this season.

House Rules:

If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session. Ensure guests are comfortable interacting with pets properly, especially children.

A Room of Their Own:

Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to. Include fresh water and a place to rest. Shy pets may want to hide under furniture, in a carrying case or a separate room away from the noise.

New Year’s Noise:

As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, possibly requiring surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and remember that many pets are scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.

It’s no surprise we all want to include our best furry friends in the celebration, but holiday pet safety is a serious issue. These tips will help you and your pet enjoy a healthy holiday season with no surprise trips to the vet! For more ways to protect your holiday celebrations from any decoration or celebration mishaps, just call us at 724-929-2300. We will tailor a policy to fit your needs at the best price. Get everything from liability for your holiday parties, to home and auto, wrapped up just for you!