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Safe Holiday Pets

With the holidays in full-swing, Petco is sharing important tips and advice to help keep…

  • December 16, 2018

With the holidays in full-swing, Petco is sharing important tips and advice to help keep furry and four-legged family members safe and healthy while creating lasting memories during one of the busiest times of the year.

When it comes to holiday travel, seasonal décor, and festive gatherings that revolve around food, simple preparation is the key to minimizing potential health and safety hazards for pets.

Petco offers the following tips for pet parents – or anyone hosting pet guests during the holidays – to ensure a joyful and safe season ahead:

Festive décor: Decorate your tree with pet safety in mind – decorations like glass ornaments, ribbons and tinsel can be harmful to pets if broken or ingested. For lights, be sure to cover electrical cords to prevent possible shock or electrocution.

Artificial and live plants: Holiday plants and décor certainly lend a festive atmosphere to the home, whether for a party or just for the family to enjoy. However, things like pine needles are sharp and difficult to digest if consumed by a pet. Other harmful plants that should be placed out of pets’ reach include mistletoe, holly, lilies and poinsettias.

Holiday food: The holidays are often synonymous with parties, which also means tasty food and a lot of guests. Avoid feeding pets table scraps and human treats like chocolate, turkey skin, grapes and raisins, caffeine, bones, onions, sweets and spices.

If you suspect your pets have accidently ingested any of these foods, contact your veterinarian, PetCoach or pet poison helpline immediately. PetCoach is a trusted website that offers pet care information, as well as 24/7 online health and wellness consultation from trusted veterinarians in real time.

Holiday festivities: Remember pets may not be familiar with all of your guests and the noise can be stressful to them. You may find it best to keep pets in a quiet place, away from the holiday party, people and food.

All the wonderful aromas from the kitchen can attract your pet, but holiday food spreads can pose a significant risk for curious pets.

Holiday travel: For pet parents, the first step in holiday travel planning is to decide if family pets will stay home or come along.

If your pet is comfortable traveling and enjoys being along for the ride, pet parents should plan ahead for the road trip or flight to ensure it’s a safe and stress-free experience. Don’t forget to pack the pet’s necessities when traveling, including food, water, treats, favorite toys, leash, collar and I.D. tag, litter and disposable litter box, and clean-up products.

Find a responsible pet sitter: For pets comfortable staying at home, pet parents should find a responsible pet sitter and make arrangements early to avoid last-minute stress.

Whether they are pet-sitting in your home or theirs, provide your sitter with a detailed checklist, including feeding and treating schedules, habitat cleaning instructions, emergency contacts and general care and maintenance information for each animal to help them take the best care of your pets.

Once you have pet proofed your home for the holidays, it’s time to bond with your pet and create some special memories. Here are a few ideas to help get you started:

Interactive play: Use your pets’ favorite toy to encourage play time, which not only stimulates them mentally, but also provides some much-needed exercise. Pick out a new, fun toy from the Holiday Tails collection to get in the spirit.

Photos with Santa: Capture the perfect photo with your pet for your holiday card at Petco’s annual Photos with Santa in-store event on Saturday, Dec. 8 and 15. All proceeds from this charming keepsake are donated to the Petco Foundation to help animals in need.

For more holiday tips and ideas, visit and

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