9 tips on keeping your pets happy and healthy this holiday season

The holidays are a special time of year in San Diego for most everyone, but they can also be a stressful time for your pets.

It’s important to keep an eye on pets to ensure they don’t get into those holiday treats that can make them sick.

San Diego County and County Animal Services released some tips on how to keep your pets healthy and happy this holiday season.


  • Keep pets away from mistletoe, holly or poinsettias. They are toxic to animals.
  • Chocolate can be toxic, too, so keep stockings out of reach and any chocolate cookies you might leave out for Santa.
  • Anchor your Christmas tree so pets can’t tip it over. If you’ve used anything but tap water for the base of the tree, make sure they can’t drink it.
  • Cats love to play with tinsel and curling ribbon but then they’ll try to eat it. Prevent a trip to the vet and keep both tinsel and curling ribbon away from cats or don’t use it at all.
  • Hide electrical cords from your pets and make sure they can’t play with or knock over any candles.
  • Set aside a quiet room. Many dogs and cats get overwhelmed with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. A quiet room allows them to escape and sleep undisturbed.
  • Ringing in the New Year? Your dog needs a quiet, secure place on New Year’s Eve. The loud booms from fireworks can scare dogs. Some will do anything to escape the noise; they’ll run for miles and become lost. Create a safe place where they can hide out from the explosive sounds of the New Year and make sure your dog is wearing identification, just in case.
  • Microchip both dogs and cats. They might slip out the door unnoticed while you’re busy greeting holiday visitors. If someone finds your lost pet or pets, a vet’s office or shelter can scan for a microchip and you’ll quickly be reunited. Animal Services offers microchipping from 1 to 3 p.m. every Thursday except holidays. The fee is only $10 and includes national registration.
  • Use your computer or smartphone and sign up for Finding Rover. This free service uses facial recognition to identify dogs. If your pet gets lost, Finding Rover has the photo on file for anyone who may find him.

Need more holiday content? We've got you covered! Elf on the shelf cheat sheets | Beware of bug-filled Christmas trees | Holiday craft, shopping events | Holiday eats, drinks and parties

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