A Pet-Friendly Christmas: McLean Animal Hospital’s Guide to a Safe and Joyful Holiday

Christmas is a magical time of year filled with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and the joy of giving. As you prepare to celebrate this special holiday, it’s crucial to keep in mind the safety and well-being of your furry family members. At McLean Animal Hospital, we’re committed to helping you ensure a pet-friendly Christmas that’s both safe and enjoyable for your pets. In this blog post, we’ll share tips and precautions to help you and your pets have a wonderful holiday season.

  1. Mindful Tree Decorating: Christmas trees are a central part of the holiday, but they can be enticing for pets. Ensure your tree is securely anchored to prevent it from toppling over if your pet decides to investigate. Consider using a pet gate to create a barrier if needed.
  2. Pet-Safe Ornaments: Choose ornaments that are non-breakable and non-toxic. Hang delicate or sentimental ornaments higher on the tree to keep them out of your pet’s reach. Avoid tinsel and angel hair, as they can be harmful if ingested.
  3. Electric Cord Safety: Keep electrical cords for lights and decorations out of your pet’s reach. Pets may be tempted to chew on cords, leading to electrical shocks or other injuries.
  4. Safe Tree Water: If you have a live Christmas tree, the water in the tree stand may contain preservatives or chemicals that can be toxic to pets. Cover the tree stand securely to prevent your pet from drinking the water.
  5. Gift Wrapping Awareness: Keep an eye on your pet when wrapping gifts, as they may be interested in ribbons, bows, or wrapping paper. Ingested paper or string can lead to digestive issues or blockages.
  6. Candle Caution: Lit candles and pets don’t mix well. Opt for battery-operated or flameless candles to create a cozy atmosphere without the risk of fire or burns.
  7. Holiday Plants: Many common Christmas plants, such as poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly, can be toxic to pets if ingested. Keep these plants out of your pet’s reach or consider using artificial alternatives.
  8. **Table Scraps: Avoid feeding your pet holiday table scraps, especially those that are high in fat or contain bones. Stick to their regular pet food to prevent digestive upset or more severe health issues.
  9. Quiet Space for Pets: Christmas gatherings can be noisy and overwhelming for pets. Provide a quiet and comfortable space where your pet can retreat to if they need a break from the festivities.
  10. Holiday Treats for Pets: Share the joy of the season with your pets by offering them pet-safe holiday treats or a special pet-friendly meal. Always be mindful of portion sizes and any dietary restrictions your pet may have.


Christmas is a time for joy, love, and togetherness, and your pets are an integral part of your family. By following these tips and precautions, you can ensure a pet-friendly Christmas that’s safe and filled with warmth and happiness. At McLean Animal Hospital, we’re here to support you in keeping your pets healthy and happy throughout the holiday season and beyond. If you have any concerns or need further advice on caring for your pets during Christmas, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Wishing you and your pets a magical and joyous Christmas!