Keeping Your Pet Safe During The Holidays

Are you ready for the sensory overload that is the holiday season? While most of us humans will soon be prepping for all of the fun and stress that comes with this time of year, your pet will need some help in that department in order to stay safe. Dangling decorations, blinking lights, rich food and loud parties all add a new element into our pet’s otherwise very predictable lives. Dr. Jeanne Hart from Tampa Mobile Veterinary Services outlined a checklist of safety points that will help keep our pets safe during the season.


Christmas Tree. Be sure that your tree is well-anchored, keeping lights and ornaments out of paw’s reach. Avoid food ornaments that might tempt your pet and also skip the tinsel and ribbon, which can cause severe intestinal blockage. Glass ornaments, while pretty, break easily and can cut your pet’s paws. If your cat or dog likes to drink from the Christmas tree water, use a tree skirt to prevent it. Also, try to vacuum up fallen pine needles daily as they can be toxic to pets.

Lights. Keep tree lights and cords out of reach of pets to prevent tangling, chewing, & potential electrocution. Candles should be placed out of pet’s reach to avoid them accidentally being knocked over.

Holiday Plants With Potential for Toxicity.

Holly (GI upset), Lilies (kidney failure in cats), Poinsettias (GI upset), Mistletoe (GI upset, heart problems), Amaryllis (GI upset)


Potentially Toxic Foods to Avoid. Rich, fatty foods, grease drippings (pancreatitis, GI upset), bones (GI perforation), uncooked meat (e. coli, toxoplasma, GI upset), chocolate and coffee (GI upset, heart damage, seizures, death), alcohol (stupor, coma, death), uncooked dough (GI upset), grapes & raisins (kidney failure), macadamia nuts (GI upset, CNS disturbance), jerky treats (kidney damage). It’s very important to secure all food garbage, plastic wrap, wrapping items and anything else that your pet could accidentally swallow or get tangled up in.


Provide a safe, quiet space for pets to get away from the crowd. Advise guests on whether it is okay to feed your pet treats and which specific foods to avoid (see list above). Be careful that pets don’t escape as guests come in and out of the front door.It’s always a good idea to micro-chip your furry friend, just in case they become lost.

Holiday tip: Indulge your pets at the holidays by taking them for extra walks and spending time with them. The fresh air, exercise and companionship will feel great!And that’s a holiday treat for both of you.

Dr. Hart and her team focus on delivering high-quality service and customer service—right at your doorstep. Tampa Mobile Veterinary Services include wellness exams, vaccinations, in-house diagnostic testing, radiology, dentistry, surgery, hospice care and euthanasia. They see patients between Monday and Friday from 8:30-5:30. Call 813-598-8505 for appointments or visit for more information.

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