HOWLiday Safety Tips

The holidays are a time for gathering with family and friends, including our pets. Keep things merry + bright and check out our tips below to enjoy a healthy and happy holiday.



Give Pets an Escape from the Holiday Hubbub

If you’re having family and friends over for the holidays, give pets somewhere quiet to retreat or consider keeping them in another room entirely. The increase in people, especially unfamiliar faces of extended family, can cause our pets unnecessary stress.

Dashing Through the… Door?

We hear it all the time… “someone accidentally left the gate open,” or “they just darted out the door when everyone was walking in.” We get it. Accidents happen and pets get loose. But if your pet is loose without a license or microchip, how can someone help get them home?

Protect your pup and make sure they’re wearing a current-year license at all times; 2024 Montgomery County dog licenses can be purchased by mail, in-person or online at the Auditor’s website. For the additional security of a microchip, talk with your vet or stop by the ARC! We’re offering $10 microchips, no appointment needed, now through Jan. 31, 2024. Just stop by anytime during open hours and tell staff at the counter you are here to have your pet microchipped.

Secure the Tree

If you have pets dashing through the snow and then your home, you’ll want to make sure your tree is stays sturdy and upright. Invest in a solid tree stand and consider anchoring your tree to the wall or ceiling to prevent it from falling over and injuring your pet.

Watch the Water

If you’ve got a live tree, keep an eye on pets and make sure they don’t drink water from the base. Fertilizer and other toxic chemicals used to protect the trees can easily leach into the water, poisoning pets. Plus, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to nausea and diarrhea.

Moral of the story? Make sure your dog has fresh water and they aren’t confusing the tree base for their bowl.

Avoid a Décor Disaster

To our pets, those beautiful ornaments and tinsel covering the tree look an awful lot like toys… but if swallowed, pets can choke on these items or develop blockages in their intestines requiring expensive surgery. Avoid a décor disaster and hang glass and other fragile ornaments toward the top of the tree where pets can’t reach them. Try opting for pet-friendly, shatter-proof ornaments on the lower branches.

Let There Be Light

Aside from the possibility of pets knocking over a candle and starting a fire, holiday lights in all their pretty shapes, colors and forms can be problematic.

If your pet has a habit of chewing electric cords, they could shock and seriously injure themselves; keep cords out of reach and use cord wraps or a chewing deterrent. Battery powered lights aren’t exactly a safe alternative either – if your pet gets ahold of the batteries, they could seriously burn their throat and mouth. And as for that candle situation we mentioned earlier – consider swapping them out for a flameless option.

Festive Feasts

If you haven’t caught on yet, our furry friends tend to have sensitive stomachs. Below are some holiday snacks to skip:

  • garlic & onions
  • raisins & grapes
  • bones (cooked or uncooked)
  • turkey or chicken skin
  • chocolate
  • foods containing xylitol
  • nuts
  • alcohol

Of course, we understand that the holidays are a time for gathering, spending time with those you love and eating yummy food. Get your pets in on the fun and try these treats:

  • turkey (cooked, boneless & skinless)
  • bananas & apples
  • carrots
  • pumpkin puree
  • sweet potatoes
  • green beans