Holiday Safety Tips for Pet-Friendly Festivities

Pet parents don’t often associate Christmas, Hanukkah, and other winter holidays with pet dangers. Why would we?  For humans, the holidays are usually just hazardous to our waistlines and bank balances. For pets, however, the holidays present opportunities to get into sticky situations.  Ccheck out the following holiday safety tips for pet-friendly festivities to ensure your pet’s well-being this holiday season.

Food Hazards

dog sitting katyFood-related incidents are frequent yet avoidable this time of year. First, check all sugar-free treats for the ingredient Xylitol. Xylitol is EXTREMELY TOXIC and often kills pets, mostly dogs, when ingested. If you think your dog may get to something that contains Xylitol, consider throwing it directly into an outdoor trash receptacle that is inaccessible to your pet and wildlife.

Additionally, curious and food-motivated pets will likely want all the food, treats, and leftovers they can get their paws on. Unfortunately, they may not be able to digest them, causing potentially serious gastrointestinal issues. If you want to share some of the goodies with your pets, choose lean cuts of meat with little or no seasoning. Avoid sharing cooked bones because the heat makes them brittle. Cooked bones can splinter in your pet’s throat or digestive tract requiring emergency veterinary care.

Finally, keep chocolate, uncooked dough, candy, coffee, and alcoholic beverages out of your pets’ reach. These popular human treats can land your pet at the vet’s office.

Food Gifts

dog sitter katy txAvoid storing baskets and food gifts under the Christmas tree or atop an accessible table. Your pet’s powerful nose will sniff out the goodies in no time. If they tear open the packaging, your pet could ingest plastic wrappers. They could also choke on containers or strings. You’d be surprised how easy it is for pets, especially dogs, to make a mess of gifts and gift baskets; don’t take any chances.

Ornaments & Lights

cat sitter katy txYears back, the local news reported on a dog that ingested a homemade salt dough ornament and ended up having to be put down. The family was devastated. If you have salt dough ornaments, make sure they are placed high and secured onto the tree.  Also, avoid stringing the tree with edible decorations such as popcorn and cranberry garlands.  While the food item itself may not be harmful, the string could easily get tied up in your pet’s intestines causing major damage.

Lighted Christmas trees are always a good idea, except if your cat climbs the tree. Heaven forbid your cat get tangled in the lights, he could strangle himself or injure a limb trying to get out. Either skip the lights or place the tree out of your cat’s reach when unsupervised.


Veterinarians get more calls about pets eating batteries during the holidays than at any other time of year. Keep batteries on top shelves and away from curious pets.  Keep remotes or other battery-operated devices out of your pet’s reach. Chewing on something with batteries inside could result in accidental ingestion of a battery or corrosive materials, which could prove fatal.

pet sitting holidays katy texasCandles & Fireplaces

Using real candles and lighting fires, as pretty as they may look, are a burn and fire hazard with and for pets. Consider purchasing flameless candles this time of year.

Accidental Pet Loss

Houseguests and visitors can pose a serious threat to your pet’s safety, especially if they aren’t used to having pets around. For this reason, we recommend you keep your indoor pets secure by adding signage to your front and back doors, asking guests not to open windows during their stay, using zip ties on outdoor gates, etc. These safety measures will ensure that your pet does not accidentally get lost during your celebrations. While you’re at it, check out these guidelines to prevent pet loss.

Animal Admiration Pet Care Services Katy, TX

We all want to have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, etc. That’s why keeping these holiday safety tips in mind is so important.  Because our fur family deserves the best and no one wants to be at the vet or caring for a sick pet over the holidays, prevention is key to making your holiday festivities pet-friendly.

If you’re traveling and need help keeping your pets safe and engaged this holiday season, check out our services and contact us at or (281) 391-1015. We book up very quickly for the holidays therefore availability may be limited.



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