iStock_000077561627_LargeMany people embrace the chaos of the holidays while others settle into a seasonal funk that lasts well after New Year’s. Our pets are no different, and their reactions are largely dependent on how prepared we are to address changes or disruptions in their routines.

Whether you’re hosting, visiting loved ones, or attending holiday parties, it’s important to consider your pet during this busy time of year. To keep the festivities jolly for everyone, we encourage you to take a moment to brush up on our pet holiday safety tips.

Your Pet’s Unique Needs

Before you get caught up in the holiday hoopla, it’s important to sit down and brainstorm the potential risks. Your pet’s needs are unique, especially if strangers, chaos, and noise will be the new normal in the coming weeks.

Boarding is certainly one option, and we’re happy to answer any questions you have about what your pet will experience as our guest. If you decide to board your pet, you’ll have peace of mind knowing he or she is safe and cared for every moment that you’re apart.

Ensuring Pet Holiday Safety

If you’re staying at home during the holidays, there are important pet holiday safety guidelines that should be observed. For starters, there’s that big fir tree that recently took over the den. Sniffing, tasting, marking, and climbing your tree are common behaviors, so it’s critical to choose unbreakable ornaments and decorations that don’t whet your pet’s appetite (definitely no tinsel!).

Newly arrived boxes and baskets can pose similar risks to your pet. Ribbons, bows, and tape can easily be ingested and cause damage to your pet’s GI system. Specialty foods and treats make nice gifts for your family, but be sure to keep that package from Harry & David out of your pet’s reach. Open-flame candles, electric cords, and poisonous plants round out your pet holiday safety “to-don’t” list.

Party Preparations

Gathering your family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers might sound delightful to you, but your pet may feel differently. While he or she may welcome every guest enthusiastically, your pet still needs a quiet place to retreat to during the chaos. Also inform your guests that indulgent foods are off-limits, and keep a close eye on him or her during backyard breaks. In general, always be alert to any worrisome symptoms that your pet may display.


Taking your pet on a trip to Grandma’s? He or she may be a pro at traveling or a homebody who detests the crate or car. Certainly, preparations for any type of journey are lengthy, but it’s important to remember the following:

  • Keep your pet’s microchip or identification tags current
  • Consider the safety of your pet while in the vehicle (a securely buckled harness or buckling up the entire crate is key)
  • Bring your pet’s food, fresh water, bowls, leash, and/or litter
  • Remember any necessary medication, copies of prescriptions, and medical records
  • Establish a schedule for regular potty/exercise breaks
  • Keep a Close Eye

    The holidays can sometimes get the best of us, but in the midst of all the craziness is your pet. Remember to take a moment to show how much you love him or her. Doing so is an excellent start to ensuring pet holiday safety. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.