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Keep Your Pets Safe throughout the Holiday Season

SPCA of Texas Offers Tips to keep Pets Healthy and Happy During the Holidays

The holiday season is a joyous time for family and friends to get together over delicious meals and happy celebrations that make for lasting memories. But certain things people enjoy so much this time of year can be dangerous for pets.

The SPCA of Texas recommends these tips to make your pets’ holiday season fun and safe:

  • Certain foods can be fatal. Alcoholic beverages and coffee are exceptionally dangerous, as are onions, salt, yeast, fatty foods, macadamia nuts, and chocolate.  Keep pets out of the trashcan, too--spoiled and moldy foods can also cause digestive problems.

  • Keep poisonous plants out of reach or in areas where pets aren't free to wander. These include lilies, which can cause kidney failure in cats; poinsettias and holly, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea; and mistletoe, which can cause cardiovascular problems and gastrointestinal upset.

  • Keep the water in your Christmas tree stand covered. Tree water is often infested with fertilized, bacteria and other harmful elements.

  • Make sure candles and other unprotected flames are not within your pets' reach. Spilled wax can cause burns if a curious cat or dog bumps into some, and a flickering flame begs to be sniffed, pawed at and knocked over.

  • Christmas trees themselves can be hazardous--kittens can become entangled in tinsel and ribbon, and broken ornaments can be hazardous to delicate paws

  • Be sure pets are indoors and have a safe place to rest away from loud noises such as fireworks, singing and other celebratory activities.
  • If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration, keep in mind that protective pets may feel threatened by strangers coming into your home. Keep pets in a familiar place with lots of toys and soothing music to distract them from the doorbell.
  • Limit your pets’ time outside due to the cold weather.
  • If you will be gone for the evening, consider letting your dog into his or her crate and keep the kitty in a familiar room with his or her litter box as an alternative.
  • Always be sure pets are wearing collars at all times with ID tags that are current and readable in case they do accidentally escape. Pet owners should also consider having their pets microchipped, as this will help them get back home safely.

    For more information on the SPCA of Texas, please visit or call 214-742-SPCA (7722).


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SPCA of Texas Voices

"I'm absolutely in LOVE with Kitty (formerly Kaleigh). I know her name isn't original at all but I just started calling her that until I could think of a name and it just stuck - it's so her! I've attached two photos - she's seriously the most beautiful kitty in the world! She loves to steal tennis balls and bones from her dog sister - she thinks she's a dog! She enjoys going for walks and car rides, snuggling with mom, bird watching, drinking from the sink, playing with her pipe cleaners and getting into mom's makeup in the mornings. I couldn't 'imagine life without her. She's the absolute best!"

Laureen Jankins

Pet Owner