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Cats and Dogs, Quick Tips

Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

white bulldog in santa outfit sniffing red ornaments

Sleigh bells are ringing, children are singing, trees are aglow, and special holiday delicacies abound. The holidays are a time for love, traditions, and joy, but nothing puts a damper on the season like an emergency visit to the veterinary clinic. There’s no doubt that we want to include our pets in our holiday celebrations whenever possible, but the holidays do present some unique safety hazards that require some thought and awareness.

Luckily, you don’t have to choose between your beloved furry companion and the things that make your holiday season merry and bright. With some careful planning and consideration, your pets and your holiday decor can co-exist in purr-fect harmony. Take a look at our top holiday safety considerations for your pets.

Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

Christmas Trees

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree… why is my pet obsessed with you?’ A holiday staple in many homes, the Christmas tree presents a long list of potential safety hazards. So long, in fact, that it merits its own blog post (which you can read here). First and foremost, it’s important to make sure your tree is secured in a way that prevents tipping. If the base doesn’t seem sturdy enough, consider using clear fishing line to anchor it to something nearby, or even the ceiling. Curious cats and dogs love to explore new things in their environment, and even if your pet has been with you for years, the Christmas tree can be seen as a new and intriguing item to explore.

Nothing brightens the holiday season like a string of lights on a tree but wires can be dangerous for investigating pets. Always tuck wires and batteries out of pet’s reach, and unplug lights whenever you aren’t home. Tinsel is well-known for its ability to attract the attention of inquisitive cats, but it can quickly become a health hazard if swallowed. Likewise, ornaments can also catch the eye of a playful pet and can end up being broken and worse, cause injury or accidental ingestion. Place glass and breakable ornaments toward the top of the tree where they’re less likely to become the object of your pet’s play session.

cat under christmas tree with ornaments


Nothing says “holidays” like a festive food and beverages, but by now, we all know that certain human foods pose serious health risks to our pets. Chocolate, alcohol, and xylitol (a common sweetener) are just a few things on our “naughty” list for pets, but it’s really best to avoid feeding pets human food altogether unless it is something made specifically for them with 100% pet-safe ingredients.

Other potential toxins include mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, and Christmas tree water containing additives.

gray puppy sniffing mistletoe


It can pique our pet’s curiosity when we decorate our homes for the holidays, and naturally, they’ll be inclined to explore any unfamiliar items. As a general rule of thumb, make sure anything you place within your pet’s reach is too large to be ingested and secured in a way that will prevent it from being accidentally knocked over.

yellow lab with santa hat and red bandana sitting on a gray chair next to a small christmas tree

Do you have any tricks or tips for keeping your pets safe around your holiday décor? Please share them on our facebook page! From all of us at 21st Essential Pet, we hope you have a paws-itively wonderful holiday season with your fur-family.

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