Holiday Dangers to Avoid 

By Kelly Loeffler | November 17, 2022 | Dog friendly, Minnesota


Pet-Proof the Tree. Avoid fragile ornaments. A gate or tinfoil around the tree base may help keep pets away. Anchor the tree to a wall for extra support. Training your pets to leave the tree along is a longer option but can be a really smart thing in the long run.

Shiny is Tempting. Glittery tinsel and ribbon can be a hazard if ingested. Avoid decorating with them or using them to wrap gifts that your pet can reach.

Prepare for Guests. More people in the house means more commotion. If your pet is uncomfortable around strangers, find them a safe, cozy spot away from people. 

Some Plants and Flowers Are Toxic. Lilies, chrysanthemums, poinsettia, azaleas, mistletoe, holly, amaryllis, and juniper can cause illness or irritation when ingested. Google “ASPCA toxic plants” for a complete list. If you love these plants and still want them indoors. I created a DIY greenhouse from a glass cabinet. It keeps my plants safe and my cats safe at the same time

Use Pet-Safe Winter Chemicals. Common ice-melt products and antifreeze are hazardous. Use a pet-safe version of ice melt and store antifreeze products out of reach, even if it has a bitter flavor added to help keep pets from lapping it up.

Secure Lights and Wires. Tape down extension cords, light strings and any other cord that a curious kitty or puppy might chew. Use cord management boxes or secure cords out of reach with cable ties where possible to avoid shocks or burns.

Watch Candles. It’s best to not leave any lit candles in an unoccupied room for your pet to accidentally topple. Take it from me the smell of fringed cat fur is not a great holiday smell!

Pick Up Small Toys. Kids will be assembling and playing with their new toys and gadgets. Keep small toys and pieces off the floor to make sure your pet doesn’t eat one. Keep button-type and other batteries away from your pet, too.

Wear Well-Fitted Non-toxic Costumes. Sweaters and costumes can be adorable, but your cat or pup should be able to move, breathe and vocalize freely in it. Never force your pet to wear costumes if their body language is telling you they don’t like to dress up.

Eat Well. Some human food is toxic (or even fatal) to pets. Chocolate, cooked bones, garlic, onion, grapes and nuts are just a few. Watch out for xylitol, a sweetener that’s deadly to dogs. When in doubt, stick to regular pet food or ask your veterinarian.

Secure Your Trash. Even if your pet never messes with the trash, keep a lid on it during the holidays. All those yummy scraps are way too tempting, and could be toxic. 

Plan Your Travel Arrangements. Not all pets enjoy traveling and it can trigger stress and anxious behaviors. If your pet is a homebody, hire a trusted sitter or find a reputable boarding kennel to keep your pet happy over the holidays. 

If you worry that your pet may have ingested a toxin or a foreign object, call your vet or consult a pet poison control line right away.

Most importantly enjoy your holidays with your pets and make sure they are enjoying that time as well.