Photo credit:

As home remodelers, we consider many factors when installing additions or replacements in homes. We have to make sure that it suits the homeowner’s needs, that the install will have good longevity and that it is safe, as examples. As we move into the holiday season, it’s time for homeowners to be thinking safety too, especially when it comes to safety for their pets! The holidays can be particularly perilous for your pooch when proper precautions aren’t taken.

Watch out for holiday decor

While it may be a festive addition to your home, the mistletoe and holly can be very unpleasant for your pet if ingested. Dogs especially like to eat all kinds of things, and with all the new and interesting smells of the holidays, these decorative greens can seem pretty tasty. Unfortunately, many of the holiday greens can cause any number of symptoms from indigestion to cardiovascular problems. If you’re planning to put up holiday decor, make sure it’s completely out of reach of your pet and that portions of the greenery aren’t in a position where they can easily fall off of the overall plant.


Actual food can also pose an issue for dog friends. Especially during the holidays, it’s easier for dogs to get their paws on all kinds of foods. Obviously chocolate is out of the question for dogs, but so are avocados, citrus fruits, coconuts, grapes, raisins, nuts, dairy, onions, garlic and other salty foods. Keep food on surfaces above where your pets can access and make sure guests don’t place plates on low tables.

Real Christmas Trees

A real Christmas tree can be pretty special, but it can also pose dangers to your pet. In particular, make sure the water the tree stands in isn’t accessible to pets. As soon as trees are placed in water they start sharing the fertilizers and other chemicals that were used on them in the growing process with the water. This can cause upset stomach and other problems for your pet. Also, standing water can eventually attract bacteria, so make sure to use a system that keeps your pet away from the base of the tree!

Reduce Stress

Dogs and other small animals get stressed around the holidays too. Routines are disrupted, there’s lots of activity and it can make a pet uncomfortable. To help a pet, set aside a room where the pet can go to get away that is calm and undisturbed. When your pet misbehaves or seems stressed out, take her to this room and let her have some time to calm down. Make sure that comfort objects are present here too.