Holiday Pet Safety Tips from Petland

Holiday Pet Safety Tips from Petland

With the holidays fast approaching, decorations are going up and they can make for some fun toys for pets to play with. There are a lot of risks with decorations. It is better to be safe and skip putting something up than a vet visit.

To ensure their safety, read all about how to keep them safe!

Holiday Plants

Plants can be very intriguing to pets. There is a wide variety of holiday plants that are especially toxic to pets. Here is a list of toxic plants to keep away from your pet this holiday season.

  1. Lilies: They are a very popular holiday flower but they are highly toxic to cats. They can cause life-threatening kidney damage. If you are gifted lilies or have lilies around, it is best to either get rid of them or make sure they are away where a cat cannot get them.
  2. Amaryllis: This is a common winter bulb. If a dog eats the bulb, it can cause intestinal obstruction.
  3. Yew: A common green used in wreaths and decor. This can be very toxic to both dogs and cats.
  4. Holly and Mistletoe: These are both common Christmas plants. Make sure plants are up and away from pets.
  5. Christmas Tree Water: This contains pesticides, bacteria and mold. Needles from the tree can be irritating if the dog or cat eats it.
  6. Poinsettias: Despite being a beautiful holiday flower, this plant can cause some stomach irritation to both cats and dogs as well as oral and skin irritation.


Tinsel is a very popular Christmas tree decoration. In fact, it has been around since 1610! Tinsel can be very appealing to cats and dogs, they are attracted to the shiny material. Most pets start out by playing with the tinsel, which eventually leads to the pet eating it. Tinsel does not break down in the gastrointestinal tract. This can become lodged within the stomach or the intestines, which turns into a vet visit and possibly emergency surgery. Keeping tinsel out of the house with pets will prevent any kind of possible ingestion.

The Christmas Tree

Cats and dogs are naturally curious, so when a Christmas tree comes in the house, they are going to want to explore it, whether that is sniffing it, trying to eat it or climbing it. Ensuring that there are no important family heirloom bulbs on the tree will prevent them from possibly getting broken.

Keeping pets away from the Christmas tree will reduce any risk of the pet possibly knocking it over and falling on them, or any risk to the humans around the tree. Christmas tree water is also very toxic to animals. Most tree farms use chemicals that help make it last longer. Keep the tree water reservoir covered so your pet does not try to drink the water.


Candles are very popular around the holidays, making your house smell nice, but candles can be very dangerous around animals. No matter how high up you put it, a curious cat will still try to check it out, risking burning a paw or tail. Some essential oil scents are also toxic to both cats and dogs. Should you use candles for the holiday season, ensure it is soy wax, but do not leave it unattended.

Did you know that candles are also toxic to birds? If you have a pet bird, candles are best kept out of the house. A great replacement for candles is an LED version. It won’t make the house smell nice, but it will still give the nice effect of a lit candle!

Christmas Day

Christmas day can be very exciting and overwhelming for pets. With all of the overstimulation, each pet may react differently to everything going on. Keeping the pet busy will be the easiest strategy. But how do you keep a pet busy on Christmas morning?! Simple enough, give them their gifts first. By giving them their gifts first, they will have something new to focus on and enjoy while the rest of the family can open gifts hassle-free. Giving a dog a chew or a toy will keep them busy and for a cat, you could do a food puzzle or a catnip toy.

Ensuring that you are cleaning up during the gift opening time will reduce the risk of pets eating the wrapping paper, ribbon or bows. Have a designated recycling bag for the wrapping paper, and a garbage bag for the bows and ribbon. We do not want our pets to ingest the ribbons. Having everything organized will reduce any stress levels! But most importantly, it is a day to cherish and have fun and make memories with your pets and loved ones!

Kitchen Hazards

The kitchen poses a risk to many hazards to our household pets during the holidays. It can be a chaotic area during the holidays as there is a few people trying to cook, others wanting snacks and pets can be notorious for wanting to sit by your feet while you are trying to get everything prepared. Keeping them out of the kitchen, as hard as it may be, is for their safety.

The hot food and oven is the first hazard. Cats and dogs are naturally very curious and want to see what everything is. They may also be hoping for something to fall for them to snatch up.

The food and table scraps is your second kitchen hazard. Between foods that are considered toxic for your pet and possible allergies, it’s important to keep your food to yourself.

Avoid giving any kind of turkey, chicken, or ham bones to your pet. This can be a choking hazard.


Tree ornaments can be so fun to bat around and play with by animals. Ensure that any breakable decorations or fragile bulbs are up high. Any broken decor or bulbs should be cleaned up immediately to reduce the risk of a cat or dog of stepping on it and ending up at the vet with injured paws.

AND have you seen our collection of dog and cat safe Christmas toys? Check them out before they are gone.

From all of us at Petland, have a wonderful, and pet safe, holiday!

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