In and Out Express Care Blog

Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

By Dana MacCorquodale | Published Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. It starts with Thanksgiving, which is mom’s favorite holiday. It’s a time for family and good food. My grandma’s recipe for corn bread stuffing is the stuff dreams are made of. It tastes divine and is the epitome of comfort food. My grandma was an amazing cook. From sweet potato pie to green beans or scrambled eggs, everything she cooked was made with love. And everything she made was delicious!

In our fervor to celebrate the holidays, we need to remember that this time of year can be deadly to your pets. Here are a few guidelines to follow to ensure your fur babies have a great holiday season too.

  1. Don’t put tinsel or garland on your Christmas tree. My parents cat (we call him “Little Man”) has a penchant for getting seriously ill every holiday season. He has been near death several times in December. He eats the needles or tinsel from the tree which gives him terrible stomach issues. Not to mention the task of pulling out the tinsel that gets stuck, half way out is not in the least bit festive. Garland is also a danger since cats can easily tear off tiny pieces.
  2. Cats are also notorious for climbing a Christmas tree. If it’s not anchored securely, it can fall over and be a fire hazard. Anchor your tree well!
  3. Poinsettias are mildly poisonous and although it’s unlikely it could kill them, vomiting and diarrhea can put a damper on anyone’s holiday
  4. Holly and mistletoe are also poisonous. The symptoms range from stomach to cardiovascular distress. It is best not to have them in the house if you have animals
  5. Don’t let animals drink from the water in the base of your non artificial tree
  6. If you have pets, non breakable ornaments should be used. Cats love to “bat” around shiny bobbles which can break if they’re glass. They are then easily stepped upon by pets and become imbedded in their paws
  7. Be careful with unattended candles. They are a fire hazard as are the wires from lights if your animal decides to chew on them
  8. Keep alcohol away from pets. Under no circumstance is it ok for an animal to have alcohol. It causes a depression of their nervous system and can lead to death
  9. No chocolate, ever
  10. Fatty holiday foods can reek havoc on a pet’s stomach. Only feed them their regular diet. There are special “pet friendly” treats you can bake yourself that are safe for your pets to eat. Below is an easy recipe for home made dog treats that your furry friends will love!

Ingredients
1 sweet potato
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prick sweet potato several times with a fork. Heat sweet potato in a microwave on high until tender, about 6 minutes. Cut potato in half and scoop flesh out of the skin into a bowl; discard skin. Mash potato with a fork or potato masher and transfer about 1 cup to a large bowl. Save any remaining sweet potato for another use. Mix whole wheat flour, applesauce, and eggs in the large bowl with the sweet potato until a dough forms. Turn dough out on a well-floured surface and roll dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter or cut dough into strips with a pizza cutter. Arrange cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.


With a little planning, your pets can have a fantastic holiday with you. Get them holiday treats to let them know they are a part of your family and be mindful as you celebrate the holidays. Have a great holiday season and spread a little love. Come into In and Out Express Care when you need to feel better fast!