Christmas is a time to spend with friends and family.  Unfortunately, pets and the impacts of Christmas activities are sometimes a second thought.  With everyone so busy, unfamiliar people coming and going in the house, and strange new things around the house (decorations and a tree!), it can be a stressful time for our furry family members. Here are some things we can do to make the holidays more comfortable and safe for our pets.

Christmas Tree and Decorations:

Secure your tree and place the decorations above your pet’s reach. Avoid using hooks to hang ornaments, instead use string.  Hooks can be dislodged easily, becoming a hazard for your pet.  Best to use non-breakable ornaments as well.  Avoid using tinsel and angel hair.  If ingested, these decorations could cause intestinal problems.  Keep the lights high enough to avoid the reach of chewing puppies or cats that love to pull things down. Do not add chemicals to your trees water reservoir to help preserve the tree.  Those chemicals are toxic to animals.  If you are thinking about flocking your Christmas tree or buying one already flocked (sprayed with white “snow”) think again.  That flocking material is toxic to animals.  Even the dust left in the box (boxes are always a favourite play toy for cats) can kill a cat.

Human Food and Treats:

Christmas and chocolate go hand in hand.  Unfortunately, chocolate can be deadly to both cats and dogs. That is not the only food that should not be fed to pets.  Generally, human food is a big no-no for pets.  Here is a list of foods that are toxic for cats and dogs.

Poultry Bones:

Any cooked bones should never been given to pets but especially poultry bones.  Poultry bones can easily splinter and cause serious injury.  Bone fragments can cause intestinal blockages or lacerations.  Bottom line is keep the garbage away from your pets.

Poisonous Plants:

Many plants such as mistletoe, holly, ornamental pepper, and Christmas rose are all poisonous to pets.


Avoid purchasing pet toys that have small pieces that can be chewed and swallowed.  Regularly inspect your pet’s toys and discard older deteriorating ones.

Toy ideas for cats:

Toy ideas for dogs:

New Year’s Fireworks:

If your neighbours set off fireworks during the holidays, ask them to give you advance notice so you can help prepare your pets. Keep your pets indoors and in a safe secure surrounding.