Holiday Pet Safety and Tips

A golden pup laying next to wrapped holiday gifts.

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the opportunity to make wonderful memories with family, friends, and even your pets. We're sharing a few ways you can make the holiday season extra special (and safe) for your furry friend!

Fun ways to include your dog in holiday celebrations:

  • Make some holiday goodies for your dog. Whether you're a faithful holiday baker or you try to stay out of the kitchen, you can make these easy no-bake treats!

  • Make a tasty frozen snack with their favorite Kong. Mix unsweetened applesauce or pureed pumpkin and a small handful of kibble, fill the Kong with the mixture, freeze, and serve! 

  • Add stocking stuffers for your dog to this year's shopping list. Fill your dog's stocking with pet-safe chew toys and treats. Check our previous post on recommended dog toys

  • Give the gift of time and fun! Try playing some indoor scent games with your pet; a great way to get the whole family involved in togetherness time. 

  • Bring your dog along to look at Christmas lights.

  • Take your dog on a walk in one of his or her favorite places. This is also a great way for your to burn off some of those extra holiday meals! 

  • Look for a local, dog-friendly Christmas market to visit together. 

  • Take photos with Santa. If you're lucky enough to find dog-friendly Santa meetings in your area, take advantage of the opportunity for a memorable photo! 

We hope you're planning to get lost in the magic of the season. Follow these tips to ensure a cheery and safe holiday season with your pet:

  • Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are pet poisons!  Make sure they are kept in places your dog cannot reach. 

  • Remove holiday lights from lower branches of your tree.  They could get hot or the dog may become entangled.

  • Watch out for electrical cords.  Pets may chew them and may get badly shocked or electrocuted.  Place wires out of reach.

  • Be careful using glass ornaments.  They break easily and may cut a dog's feet and mouth.

  • Commercial ornaments may contain paint or toxins in the preservatives - make sure your dog does not attempt to eat them.

  • Whether your tree is live or artificial, both kinds of needles are sharp and indigestible. 

  • Tinsel is dangerous for dogs.  If swallowed, it can block the intestines.

  • Macadamia nuts as well as other nuts including almonds, pecans, and walnuts are toxic for your dog. 
  • Alcohol and chocolate are toxic for dogs, even in small amounts.  Keep unhealthy, sweet treats and seasonal goodies out of reach. Here is a more extensive list on foods dogs should never ingest.

  • With some extra care and vigilance, you and your dog will enjoy a worry-free holiday season.  

We hope these fun ideas and safety advice are helpful to you as you gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays. Please remember the goal is for you and your dog to have fun together, so please don't try to force your dog to participate in anything that makes him or her afraid or uncomfortable. If you decide to act on any of our suggested activities, we would love for you to tag us on Instagram or Facebook so we can see how it turns out. Happy Holidays from the Guide Dog Foundation team!