As we approach the first holiday season in this post-pandemic world, it’s important to consider the impact our holiday festivities can have on our pets. From Christmas ornaments to tinsel and mistletoe, it’s important to keep pet holiday safety in mind. There are more than a handful of holiday traditions that can accidentally harm pets during the holidays. Cats and dogs can be delightfully included in celebrations, and with these important pet holiday safety tips in mind, you’ll be prepared for a wonderful holiday season with your pets.

We hope you find these holiday pet safety tips from our team at Bayside Animal Hospital helpful as you prepare for upcoming festivities. If you ever have questions or need a trusted Galveston area veterinarian, we’re here when you need us.

Make Car Trips Pet-friendly

Dog and owner in car

Take pet holiday safety on the road by ensuring your car is well-equipped for long trips with pets to family members’ homes. Small dogs and cats should travel in a secure crate, while larger dogs can ride along in the backseat with their own pet seat belt. Make sure to bring along items that make pets feel comfortable and cozy. Pack plenty of food and water, their favorite toys, and a cozy blanket to make the journey more comfortable.

No Table Scraps for Pets

During holiday parties and gatherings, make sure to ask guests to refrain from feeding pets table scraps. Many of our seasonal favorites can pose choking hazards and be poisonous to pets. Instead of sharing holiday food with your pets, plan vet-approved holiday treats and snacks for your pets. Our Galveston area veterinarians and staff are more than happy to provide recommendations for the best holiday treats for cats and dogs.

Cat-Proof Your Holiday Decorations

dark colored cat laying under the christmas tree, bad pets holiday safety

If you own a curious feline, then you’re aware that they like to get into all the holiday decorations at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Decorating for the holidays with pets, especially the Christmas tree, can be one of the greatest challenges during the holidays. Try to put decorations out of reach and avoid ornaments with hooks. Opt for string instead, which will keep ornaments attached to the tree. Hang any sentimental glass or ceramic pieces up high and out of reach from your cat. We also suggest decorating with plastic or fabric ornaments and decorations for optimal pet safety and to prevent injury to your pets. When fragile ornaments fall to the floor, the sharp, broken shards can be harmful to your pets. 

Another helpful way to protect pets during the holidays is to keep pets out of the room with the tree when you aren’t home. This will prevent pets from knocking it over, getting injuries from broken ornaments, eating pine needles, drinking Christmas tree water, or other mischief. If possible, install a pet gate to keep pets out of the area with the tree and majority of holiday decorations.

Prevent Electrical Injuries

Old dog laying on strand of white Christmas lights, not safe

Another important holiday pet safety tip is to keep cats and dogs away from holiday lights and wiring. It only takes a single nibble for them to get an electrical shock. Pets chewing on wires can also lead to dangerous shortages that are harmful humans, too. Mounting cords up high will keep pets from reaching them. 

You might also opt for battery-operated decorations or hide wires with heavy duty wire covers. This will stop them from chewing on any cords when you aren’t around, or during holiday parties, when you’ll be focused on festivities. It’s impossible to keep an eye on your pets 24/7–so choose decorations for optimal pet holiday safety.

The Greatest Holiday Gift for Your Pet

Practice pet holiday safety before the season is in full swing by scheduling your beloved pet for an annual check-up with our team or your local veterinarian. At Bayside Animal Hospital, we’re here to provide you with all the tips and tricks necessary to protect your furry friend all year long.