Holiday safety tips for pets

The holiday season is a hectic time of year. Between shopping, attending parties and going on vacation, it can be easy to unknowingly put your pet at risk. To warn pet owners about the risks associated with the holiday season, the team at Chico has put together the following information.


Christmas decorations add to the joy of the holiday season. However, some of them can be harmful to your dog or cat. Candles can burn your pet or start a fire if knocked over, and string lights can electrocute or strangle them if they get tangled in the wires. Lastly, ribbons, bows, figurines and other small decorative objects can be a choking hazard. If swallowed, these items can cause an intestinal obstruction.

Therefore, you should always turn your string lights off when you’re away and make sure they don’t dangle on the floor. Place candles out of your pets’ reach and only light them when you can keep a close eye on them. When it comes to decorations, say no to angel hair and fake snow. Dogs and cats love to nibble on these potential choking hazards. Additionally, it’s a good idea to opt for plastic ornaments over glass ones. Lastly, don’t put presents under the tree until the very last minute, and store wrapping paper in a safe place.

Christmas plants

Poinsettias are extremely popular plants at Christmas time. But, if ingested, they can give your pet a stomach ache. More importantly, plants like mistletoe, lily and holly are extremely toxic to animals. Therefore, we recommend either purchasing artificial plants and/or placing toxic varieties out of your pet’s reach.


Your guests can unwittingly jeopardize your pet’s safety. For example, they may unconsciously leave the front door open long enough for your dog or cat to escape. In addition, strong perfumes and loud laughter can stress your pet and make them anxious. It’s important to remember that your pet’s sense of hearing and smell are much more developed than yours. Therefore, loud sounds and strong smells could cause your cat or dog to hide or behave in a frightened or hostile manner.

Moreover, some of your guests may want to hold, pet or play with your furry friend, which could make them uncomfortable. Make sure you supervise your guests so that they don’t get bitten or scratched. This is especially true for young children who aren’t mature enough to understand that you should never pull a cat or dog’s tail.

If you’re dancing or playing games like limbo or musical chairs, keep your pet in another room. This will prevent someone from falling on your pet or stepping on its paws.

Food and drinks

Various kinds of foods and drinks intended for human consumption are harmful to pets, including chocolate, grapes, butter, onions, alcohol, cheese, coffee, hard candy and macadamia nuts. The bones from meat can also be sharp and therefore dangerous to your cat or dog.

Additionally, foods that are artificially sweetened with xylitol are extremely toxic to dogs. If ingested, xylitol can cause pancreas inflammation, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of consciousness, paralysis and more.

If you want to avoid a trip to the emergency room during the holidays, make sure you keep all food and drinks out of your pet’s reach. You should also tell your guests not to feed your pet anything, even if it begs. Additionally, make sure no one lets your pet have beer or wine as a joke. Doing so could put them in a coma. Simply give your cat or dog their usual food, water and treats.

Find the perfect gift for your pet at Chico

The best way to keep your pet safe when hosting a holiday party is to keep them in a locked room with everything they need, including their water, toys and food. Do you want to give your furry friend a new toy, treat or accessory for Christmas? If so, visit Chico in-store or online.