Hot Topics     Home and Family    

How to keep pets happy and healthy this holiday season

7 tips to help you spot potential hazards for your furbaby

holiday safety for pets

The holiday season means fun and festivities for all, but getting wrapped up in all the excitement and celebrations can lead to forgetting about safety and precautions, especially for pets.

Consider these seven tips to help you spot potential hazards around the holidays and keep your pets healthy and happy.

Food for Thought: Sweet treats and savory bites are treasured holiday pastimes for humans, but that can also mean things like chocolates, nuts and animal bones should be supervised carefully so your pets don’t ingest something toxic or harmful. Other human foods to put on the do-not-share list include garlic, onions and grapes. It’s also wise to keep your trash in a tightly sealed container or hidden somewhere your pet can’t access.

Keep Calm and Carry On: The holiday season brings people together for milestones and celebrations, but all the hoopla can be stressful for pets. From the loud music and new visitors to kids running around or fireworks going off, some pets can become overwhelmed. To help keep your pets comfortable and calm, try turning on a TV or some soothing music in a quiet room away from the noises or let them curl up on their favorite bed with a toy or treat to distract them. You can also try introducing a calming supplement like Zesty Paws Calming Bites for Dogs that may help with normal stress, nervousness and hyperactivity during stressful situations.

Watch Out for Tree Trimmings and Poisonous Plants: While poinsettias and festive fir trees are holiday classics, they can also be extremely hazardous to pets. It’s important to be careful about what you’re bringing inside your home. Many holiday plants like holly, lilies, amaryllis and even pine needles from trees can be toxic if ingested. If ingestion does occur, contact a pet poison hotline or your veterinarian. If it’s after hours or in the event of an emergency, find your nearest 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic.

Watch the Weather: Changing temperatures and harsh conditions can wreak havoc on human skin, so it’s no surprise it can also affect pets’ skin and coats. You can try reducing their bathing frequency, keeping up with brushings and providing extra hydration to keep them feeling their best. Another way to keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy is to add supplements that contain essential fatty acids. A fish oil, like Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, provides omega-3s for dogs to help nourish their skin and coats.

READ MORE: Keep pets cozy in the cold

Stick to a Routine: Pets thrive on routines for feeding, potty breaks and exercise, so be conscious of how your holiday plans may shake things up. Try to stick to your regular schedule as closely as possible or consider asking a friend or relative to help if you’ll be away during regular feeding or outdoor break times.

Spend Some Quality Time: In addition to providing companionship and love, spending time with pets can also reduce stress, anxiety and depression; ease loneliness; and encourage exercise and playfulness. Even though you may be traveling or partying with friends, be sure to spend some quality time with your fur babies this holiday season, too.

Give Them Gifts: Humans aren’t the only ones who love to get gifts. Few things beat the look on dog’s faces when you pull out a new toy or treat for them to enjoy. Whether it’s a new leash, ball or cozy bed, be sure you have a little something to give your furry family members this holiday season as well.

For more information and ways to keep your pets happy and healthy, visit

(Family Features) 
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family with dog)


Other articles by HVP News Reporters

  • Choose to move

    5 ways to help manage osteoarthritis

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and affects over 32.5 million U.S. adults. OA is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and stiffness and can lead to limited function. read more »
  • Make these 10 doctor-recommended health resolutions in the new year

    Tips to help you get started

    The New Year is the perfect time to hit the reset button on your health and wellness. Not sure where to start? Doctors say you can make the biggest impact with small, incremental tweaks to your routine. read more »
  • The Bear Mountain Ice Rink is opening for the season

    Join them on November 4th for the first skate

    The Palisades Interstate Park Commission is pleased to announce the opening of the Bear Mountain Ice Rink for the 2023/24 season. Join us on November 4th for the first skate at the rink that was voted Best of the Hudson Valley three years running! read more »
  • Kingston Eats Veggies Campaign builds interest in local produce

    Kingston’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) is piloting “Kingston Eats Veggies,” a vegetable of the month campaign. read more »
  • ASHA announces new developmental milestones for children ages birth to 5

    Checklists will help parents track their child's development

    The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) announces today the free, online availability of new checklists that detail communication (speech, language, and hearing) milestones for children ages birth to 5 years as well as feeding and swallowing milestones for children ages birth to 3 years. These milestones provide parents and caregivers with a roadmap of what to expect during their child's early years of life—and can alert them to the early signs of a potential developmental delay or disorder. read more »
  • How to make higher-quality choices at the grocery store

    Arm yourself with a plan and info

    Grocery shopping can be stressful when there are so many options, especially if you’re making a conscious effort to make high-quality food choices while you shop. Arming yourself with a plan and plenty of information can help you make smarter choices and feel good about the meals you prepare for your family. read more »
  • Self-care for sick days

    Navigate cough, cold and flu season like a pro

    Cooler weather inevitably means cough, cold and flu season isn’t far behind. Now is the time to take precautions and set yourself up with healthy habits. read more »
  • Simplify holiday hosting from start to finish

    It's all in the planning

    Hosting a major holiday event is no small effort. It requires close attention to detail from planning, cooking and cleaning to entertaining guests on the big day. Fortunately, just like any good recipe, approaching your hosting duties one step at a time can allow you to create a magnificent final product. read more »
  • Elevate your tailgate with easy-to-make recipes

    Concoct a winning game plan

    Concoct a winning game plan, gather the parking lot games and call the biggest fans you know – it’s tailgating season. This year, before you root on your favorite team, make sure your pregame party matches the intensity of the fourth quarter with recipes that really fire up the crowd. read more »
  • Holiday gift ideas to promote healthy, happy feet

    Give them some love this season

    Want to show your loved ones you truly care? Treat their feet this holiday season. read more »