Tips to Help Pets During the Holidays

‘Tis the season for adding more sparkle through decorations, special holiday foods, and getting together with family and friends. Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) is offering pet families a few tips to help keep their pets safe during the holiday fun.
“We want to help pet families avoid trips to the emergency vet this holiday season or have their holidays spoiled because their pet has gone missing,” says Lisa Bernard, DCHS Public Relations Coordinator.
DCHS advises pet parents to:
<strong>Pick decorations wisely: </strong> Sparkly decorations can attract unwanted attention from pets, especially cats and young dogs. Tinsel, for instance, is a favorite object ingested by cats that can cause significant issues like gastrointestinal obstruction. Linear objects like tinsel are the most common items that need to be surgically removed from cats. Light displays are popular this time of year, but some pets are tempted and may chew on electrical cords. This can cause electrical shocks and burns to the animal. Research the decorations you’d like to use and either don’t use decorations that pose a hazard to your pet or keep them out of your pet’s reach.
<strong>Food:</strong> Don’t leave food unattended on tables or counters and make sure the lids on garbage cans are secure. Fatty, sweet, and spicy foods, turkey and chicken bones, and alcohol can all be dangerous for pets. High fat foods like turkey drippings can cause major GI upset, while chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs. Common ingredients like onions and garlic can be hiding in other foods and are also toxic to pets. Help keep pets safe by keeping these foods out of reach and encouraging guests not to table-feed your pets.
<strong>Make sure your pet has identification:</strong> As guests come and go, pets can sneak out with them or find a door or gate that wasn’t latched properly and escape. Make sure you’ve prepped your pet with a well-fitted collar and identification tag. Even better, make sure the pet is microchipped and the information associated with the chip is up-to-date. Pets that are chipped or have ID tags have a better chance of being reunited with their families. It’s also a great idea to have a plan ready should you ever become separated from your pet. Among your list of steps should be reporting the lost pet to DCHS through our website at and checking our found pets page. Anyone who finds a pet can file a found pet report at as well.
For more tips, click here:
Just a reminder, DCHS’s Main Shelter is closed on Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, but lost and found reports can still be filed online at Never leave a stray animal in a crate or tied up outside the main shelter. DCHS’s Wildlife Center is open by appointment only.
<strong>About Dane County Humane Society</strong>
Dane County Humane Society is a private, non-profit, community-supported organization and is not affiliated with any government agency or national animal welfare organization. DCHS provides compassion and care to thousands of pets, livestock, and wildlife each year. DCHS has an adoption guarantee, meaning all healthy or treatable animals can stay at DCHS as long as it takes to find a loving home.