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Holiday Tips for Pets

by Ellie Gwon |

We know you love your pets a ton and want them to be part of your holiday celebrations. That’s why it’s important to follow these holiday tips for pets to keep them safe, happy, and calm all season long! 

  1. Pet-proof the tree. If possible, set up your tree in a room that you can close off from your pets when no one’s home. If that’s not possible, just pay attention to the bottom of the tree - mainly where your pet can reach. Make sure you don’t have any ornaments, tinsel, or lights at the bottom where your pet can easily get to them.
  2. Anchor your tree. Cats (and even some adventurous pups!) may try to jump onto or into your tree, so make sure you have a solid tree stand that’s securely keeping the tree in place. You can even anchor your tree to the ceiling as well, using some fishing line. 
  3. Block access to the tree stand and its water. While your tree will love the water you give it (and any pesticides that the company who sold it to you may have added to the water), your pets’ bellies sure won’t. It’ll smell good to your pets and they’ll likely try to drink it if they can find it, so make sure there’s no access to it and that you keep an eye on your pets when they go near the tree. 
  4. Fasten holiday lights securely and place cords out of reach. You don’t want your pet to get electrocuted or swallow any small parts. 
  5. Avoid toxic plants. Christmas pets like holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias can be poisonous to animals, so if you are going to use these as decor, make sure they’re in places that your pets can’t reach. 
  6. Keep gifts (especially edible gifts!) out of reach. Everyone loves the look of plenty of presents underneath a tree, but not if it could mean harm to your pets. If you have anything edible or scented, wait until Christmas Eve to place it under the tree. Keep an eye on other presents to see what your pets do with them. You can always test out a few gifts at a time in case your pets decide they all belong to them! 
  7. Avoid tinsel. Tinsel can get tangled in pets’ digestive tracts and this typically leads to surgery. If you have a dog, you can place tinsel high above where the dog can reach and ensure it’s securely fastened. But if you have a cat, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to stop it from playing with it - can you blame them?!
  8. Put away or bury outdoor cords. Especially because you don’t usually keep an eye on your pets the entire time they’re outside, you’ll want to make sure cords are not out in the open where they can chew on them. 
  9. Be cautious about where you put your outdoor decorations. Are you into large lawn decorations or low hanging lights? Just make sure you’re placing things in places that your pets can’t get to. 
  10. Skip the table scraps! It’s so tempting to feed your pet a bunch of human food during a holiday dinner to make them feel like they’re part of the family, but a lot of human food is harmful to pets. Keep their bellies happy by keeping your food on your plate. 
  11. Don’t overwhelm your pets with guests. If your pets get easily overwhelmed or overstimulated when they’re around a lot of people, try to set them up in a spot they find safe and comfortable, surrounded by toys and other comforting items for them. Then keep them away from the party. If they’re a little timid but can still handle being around plenty of people, just let your guests know what to do and what not to do around them to make it a comfortable experience for everyone. 
  12. Make sure your pets have proper ID tags before traveling (whether you’re traveling with or without them). We don’t want any Homeward Bound situations happening!

Have any other tips? Head to our Facebook group and let us know!