Holiday pet safety

With so much hustle and bustle around the holidays, it’s important to remember furry members of the family that might need a little extra care. Since your home may be filled with more hazardous items and more people than normal, it’s necessary to take preventive measures to keep your pets safe. 

Home Holiday Safety Hazards 

Keep an eye out for these holiday hazards as you decorate your home this year. Pets may notice the change of pace as you gear up for holiday company, so be sure to give them a little extra love and attention to keep them reassured. Practice pet safety during the holidays and watch out for these common hazards around the home this season: 

Holiday Treats and Baked Goods 

Keep the Christmas cookies and other yummy holiday treats inaccessible to your animal companions. Many popular holiday snacks include ingredients that are extremely toxic to pets, such as chocolate, raisins, xylitol, macadamia nuts, and more. Even if they get into a treat that is non-toxic, the high sugar and fat content could still cause an upset stomach. Keep the holiday goodies sealed, up high on the counter top, or behind fridge or cabinet doors where your pets cannot sneak a taste.  


Candles may be an important part of your holiday celebrations and traditions, however they can also be a hazard to the pets and people in your home. It’s important to keep candles out of reach from your pets, so they don’t accidentally burn themselves or start a fire. Place candles on surfaces where paws and tails cannot accidentally knock them over. Candles and pets don’t mix, and could become a fire safety hazard if they are left unsupervised. 

Seasonal Plants 

Mistletoe, poinsettias, and holly are toxic to your pets, and can cause vomiting and diarrhea if they are ingested. Keep these plants outside the home where your pets cannot reach them, or opt for a fake or pet-friendly version of your favorite holiday plant instead. 

Christmas Trees 

Christmas trees are a beautiful decoration in the home, but they can be dangerous to pets if accidentally knocked over! Make sure your tree is securely anchored. If you have a fresh tree, make sure to keep pets out of the water at the base of the tree. It can contain fertilizers that are harmful to your pets, and the stagnant water can also breed bacteria that can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea. 

Skip the Tinsel 

This shiny, stringy decoration can be irresistible to cats who mistake it for toys. If your pet ingests tinsel, it can cause a blockage to form in the digestive tract. This can lead to severe vomiting, pain, dehydration, and may even require surgery to remove. 

Prepare for the New Year 

If you know your pet experiences anxiety, it’s best to get in touch with your veterinarian ahead of time before the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Your vet can also give you tips on how to create a calming and safe environment so your pet feels protected. Also make sure your pet is microchipped, so the chances of reuniting with your beloved animal family member are increased in case of separation. 
Another tip for the New Year is to schedule your pet’s annual wellness exam, to make sure they start the new year off on the right paw! Contact the team at Wheaton Animal Hospital today to schedule a wellness check for your pet at (630) 665-1500.