Top 10 Holiday Pet Safety Tips

By Amanda Milne

Well, it’s that time of the year that things are out of their normal routine. This is fine for most of us, but our pets sometimes have a bit of a harder time adapting, after all, they do rely on a routine. I’ve included some tips to consider to keep your furry friends safe amidst the hustle, bustle, and craziness this holiday season:

1 ) Don’t buy tinsel–specially if you have cats. Cats love to play with linear objects like string, yarn, rubber bands, and worst of all, tinsel. What often happens is that they will be playing and it will get caught and anchored under their tongue while they swallow the other end of it. Since it’s stuck at one end, and the digestive tract is trying to move it in the opposite direction, it gets bound up in the intestines, can shred them, and potentially cause death if dealt with right away.

2 ) Put away all toxic foods. All types of chocolate are toxic, but dark chocolate is the worst. Other foods than can be toxic are onions, raw potatoes, raisins and grapes. Not a food–but some plants and flowers can be very dangerous to dogs and especially cats.

3 )Make sure that guests visiting your home are careful not to let your pet escape out the front door as they go in and out–specially if you have a runner! A helpful suggestion is to put a gentle reminder on the back of the door so they are always conscious of this ( we have printed a picture of our little friend with a “Don’t let me escape!” caption).

4 ) Be sure that all pets have proper identification. A microchip that is ISO certified is best so that your furry family can be found and the chip read with a universal reader no matter what brand you picked. In addition, you should always have a sturdy tag on their collar with your phone number. The most durable plastic reflective tags I’ve ever worked with are from

5 ) Keep your pet on a leash. This time of the year people are stressed and not paying attention to where they are going. The safest way to guarantee that nobody gets hit by a car is to make sure that they are not loose anywhere near the road.

6 ) Pet proof better than you would for young children. If this is too difficult with company visiting, then confine your cat or dog to a safe place like a crate when you go out.

7 ) Be aware of the cold. Remember not to leave your furry friends out there for too long–especially at night or during colder temperatures. Just because they have fur, it doesn’t mean that they can withstand sub-zero temperatures.

8 ) Don’t feed your pet novelty treat that they are not used to, just because it’s a special occasion, especially pig’s ears and non-digestible rawhide. A trip to the vet for vomiting and diarrhea is not a fun way to spend the holidays. A couple of years ago there was a big outbreak of E. coli in pig’s ears during which many pets fell ill.

9 ) Avoid leaving your pet unsupervised with their new holiday toys. Really never leave them alone with a toy. Nobody really knows why, but eating it might seem like a good idea at the time for your pet.

10 ) Unplug cords an cables that they might chew on or trip over when you’re not around–especially the one that’s attached to your tree!

Amanda Milne writes articles to help you get the best out of your life. Subjects she writes about include personal growth, animals, travel, home finance, investing, food, and the environment. If you’d like to find out more about these subjects please visit

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5 Responses

  1. _McLaughlin
    | Reply

    RT @PetLvr Top 10 Holiday Pet Safety Tips | – [The Blog]

  2. McLaughlin
    | Reply

    This will make me sound stupid, but I had cats for 20+ years and never thought about tinsel as a danger. Like a gun owner that never thinks a gun is a danger.

  3. HART (1-800-HART)
    | Reply

    Nah .. that never sounded stupid~

    We have those small trees about 3ft high that we stand on a coffee table … but, it wasn’t always like that. We used to just have it on a little stand close to the ground until one day our Zeussie Pussy Cat decided to play handball with the ball ornaments and knocked the tree off the box and broke a few of the balls. But, the tree fell on the cat and while there was no tinsel, he jumped up trying to get the tree off of him and pulled the extension cords that was wrapped up around the speaker and knocked the speaker down that had a plant ina bowl, filled with water just that very morning and .. // well, as I mentioned earlier – we now use a coffee table to hold the tree.

    So the moral of the story .. just like “Guns don’t kill – People Kill” saying .. I would say that “Tinsel isn’t dangerous – trees are dangerous!” ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Erin Clephas
    | Reply

    – be aware of your furry friends this holiday season! check out these holiday tips –

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