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Helpful Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe Over the Holidays

Before you defrost the turkey and trim the tree - read this blog post first!

There are some considerations to keep in mind to keep our pet safe and healthy as we celebrate the holiday season. While this article is intended as a resource for pet owners in the Comox Valley, we encourage ALL pet owners to have a plan and talk to your vet in advance to discover where you would need to take your pet if anything happened.

Here are some tips all dog and cat owners should keep in mind this holiday season:

Be mindful of holiday decor - it can be harmful to pets!

Edible ornaments (popcorn, anyone?), low-hanging lights or tablecloths, imitation snow, tinsel, poinsettia, holly berries, and preservatives on your Christmas tree can all spell DISASTER for our pets.

In fact, one of our team member's kitty Tsunami (below) was in this month, for possible foreign body obstruction after eating some tinsel. (Yes, these kinds of things can happen to anyone!). He's doing better now, but we'd like to use this as a reminder for cat owners to keep tinsel away from their cats.

Curious cats and playful canines can wreak unwanted havoc on both their systems and your decor when tempted by these new, shiny items in their homes.

Please be aware of the items you use to decorate your home and how accessible it is to your pet. If you have any doubts, we always say that it’s better to go on the safe side.

Give the gift of peace and quiet to your pet - with a designated “chill” spot.

Having visitors come and go frequently can upset even the most sociable of pets. Even pets that aren’t ordinarily shy may become nervous in the excitement and noise!

Make sure your pet has a comfortable, quiet place inside if they want to retreat and get away from the commotion if they wish to.

Pets that are nervous around people should be put it in another room or a crate with a favourite toy.

Keep them away from potentially dangerous foods.

We know it can be tough, but try to keep the people food for the people! Make or buy a SPECIAL holiday treat for your pet that is formulated for them, like a new bone or homemade treats. They will enjoy it just as much, and maybe more!

Here are some holiday favourites that are hazardous for pets:

Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Although the toxicity can vary based on the type of chocolate, the size of your pet, and the amount they ate, it’s safer to consider all chocolate off-limits to pets.

Other sweets should be kept out of reach of pets. They are too rich for pets, and an artificial sweetener often found in baked goods, candy and chewing gum, xylitol, has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.

The fat in ham and turkey can cause some dogs to develop a life-threatening condition known as pancreatitis.

Table scraps should be kept away from pets. Many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets, including onions, raisins and grapes.

Clear the food and trash from your table, and keep it off the counters and serving areas when you are done using them. A turkey or chicken carcass left out could be deadly to your pet. Dispose of carcasses and bones in a covered, tightly secured trash bag placed in a closed trash container outdoors.


There are just a few helpful tips to make entertaining this year a breeze.

With that said, we wish you and yours a very happy holiday season.

If you have any questions, be sure to call our friendly Sunrise team at (250) 339-6555.

Best holiday wishes!

Your Sunrise family.

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