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Safely Celebrating the Holidays with Your Pets

In a survey completed by Southern Living in November 2019 and released in August 2020, participants revealed that:

  • 87 percent believe that their pet is part of the family

  • 82 percent say their pet adds to their happiness

  • 77 percent say their pet makes their kids happier

At The Urban Dog Group at Coldwell Banker Realty, we couldn’t agree more with these sentiments, especially during the holiday season. Pets just make everything better, right? It’s with these thoughts in mind that we compiled the lists below.

How to Keep Your Furry Friends Safe During the Holidays

In an effort to keep your pets healthy and safe, here are three things to keep top-of-mind as you celebrate the holidays:

  1. Protect your pet from the cold: If you live in a snowy spot, keep your pets away from antifreeze, which is extremely toxic if ingested, as well as de-icers and salt, which can burn their feet and be dangerous if they lick their paw pads after a walk. Invest in some waterproof boots for them. And be sure to use pet-friendly ice-melting products!

  2. Watch them closely around your decor: Although holiday decorations are beautiful, they can be hazardous to pets. For instance, your snow globes may contain toxic chemicals, and tinsel and ribbons, if digested, can cause stomach issues. Candles, if left unattended or knocked over by a wagging tail, could hurt your pet or even burn down your house. If you opt for a live Christmas tree, be sure that your furry friends don’t drink the water, as it can also be toxic to them.

  3. Clean up the kitchen: This time of year is filled with extra treats, but it’s important to keep them put away in a pantry or cabinet or on an unreachable counter. Ingredients like chocolate, raisins, and some artificial sweeteners are dangerous for your pets to ingest. If you think they’ve eaten something they shouldn’t, immediately reach out to your vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Center.

Five Ways to Celebrate with Your Pets

Of course, as animal lovers, we want this festive time of year to be extra special for our pets too. Here are five ways to celebrate with your four-legged pals:

  1. Fill their stocking up with toys and treats: Many families include a stocking for their pet on the mantle. Stock up on their favorite treats, a few rawhide bones, and some new toys. It’ll be so much fun to watch their excitement as they explore their presents! If your family doesn’t exchange stockings, wrap a few toys, and place them under the tree. If you want to give them treats as well, be sure to store them somewhere safe until you plan to open gifts.

  2. Add a few extra walks into your weekly workout plan: Given the overindulging this time year - peppermint schnapps hot cocoa, anyone? - we can all benefit from some additional workouts. Fido may not understand why he’s getting extra walks, but he’ll certainly be happy when he sees you lacing up your sneakers again!

  3. Buy them some holiday gear: Spread the Christmas cheer! If your pet enjoys festive attire, buy them some reindeer antlers or a holiday sweater. If they prefer to only wear a collar, buy them one with candy canes or mistletoe for the month of December. Don’t forget to transfer their tags! Another good option is a festive bandana.

  4. Add some pet-friendly functions to your calendar: Many towns have outdoor light shows or holiday concerts. If your pet is comfortable around strangers, loud noises, and bright lights, bring them along! They’ll be happy to spend some extra time with you. Be sure to check for event changes or cancellations due to COVID-19 regulations.

  5. Make a donation in your furry friend’s name: Consider pets that are less fortunate than your own. Donate money or volunteer your time to local shelters and organizations. You can also call ahead and see if they need any tangible items, such as dog or cat food, treats, beds, or blankets.

Have a paw-some holiday season!

Let The Urban Dog Group help you with your real estate needs! Contact Christine Elias at

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