Tips for Preparing for the holiday season with Pets

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Christmas is around the corner, and if you’re like most people, you have already started your holiday decorating for Christmas. With any holiday, it’s important to consider your pets as you deck the halls this Christmas! Let’s talk about how you can prepare your home with your furry friends in mind to keep them safe and your holiday a little less stressful.

Christmas Tree

Locate a safe place for your Christmas tree. Preferably a corner and a place where you’re able to secure it in the event the cat should climb up it or the dog jump on it. A child’s gate that can block off access to the tree works well. If a gate is unable to be used, try hanging bells on the bottom limbs of the tree to warn you of a possible disaster. Also, consider tending to the pine needles on a regular basis as they can be harmful to your pets if ingested.


As you deck the halls, it’s not uncommon to use mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias around the home. These are all toxic to a cat and dog. Be mindful of where you place these around your home. Have them up high enough where the pets can’t reach them to knock over or eat. While they may be beautiful, they can also be extremely harmful to your pets.


Also, Christmas brings a time of year where holiday baking ensues. As you bake your delicious treats, keep in mind those that are toxic to your pet.Many of the spices, nuts, and fruits used in baking can be toxic to your pets. Several are safe, but you want to be mindful so that if they happen to steal a treat or two, it won’t warrant an unexpected trip to the vet.

List of some toxic foods to pets:

  • Avocado flesh and pips
  • Broccoli (large amounts)
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee grounds, beans & tea (caffeine)
  • Garlic
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Mouldy /spoiled foods
  • Pear pips, the kernels of plums, peaches & apricots, apple core pips (contains cyanogenic glysides resulting in cyanide poisoning)
  • Potato peeling & green looking potatoes
  • Raisins & grapes
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Tomato leaves & stems (green parts)
  • Yeast dough
  • Fatty Ham
  • Cooked Bones
  • Candy and chewing gum
  • Mushrooms
  • Corn on the cob


During Christmas, most families gather around the kitchen table. Let your guests know that table scraps and fatty foods are forbidden for your pets and remind them before sitting down to eat to ensure your pets are safe.


Be mindful of the fact your pooch has a strong sense of smell and can smell through the wrapping paper. If you plan on wrapping any gifts that are chocolate, candles, perfume, or cologne, store them away from the Christmas tree where your pets can’t let their nosiness get the best of them. Bring the gifts out when it’s time to open them so that your pets are safe. The last thing you want to do is ruin Christmas with an emergency run to the vet because of a nosey pet! Christmas is a time for love, laughter, fun, and memories; please be mindful of your pets and how you can keep them safe as you celebrate this holiday season. A simple rule of thumb is if it isn’t safe for a toddler, it isn’t safe for your pet.

Here’s a little check list help prepare for the silly season:

  • Is your pet’s vaccination up to date? All boarding kennels and catteries will require your pet to be up to date with their C5 vaccination.
  • Vaccination Certificate – The boarding kennels and catteries will need to sight your pets current vaccination certificate.
  • Medication – ensure you have enough medication over the Christmas and New Year period, as vets may be closed or have lower stock due to closure of wholesalers.
  • Food – ensure you have plenty of pet food especially if pet has special dietary requirements.
  • Emergencies / afterhours vets – double check your vets opening hours and always have their number and their afterhours numbers saved in your phone for emergencies.


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