Pet Safety Tips: How to Take Care of Your Furbabies During the Holiday Season

Pet safety tips for the holidays

We love our pets. They’re a part of our families, which means they’ll be celebrating the holidays right beside us. But as much as we want to share all the joys and festivities with them, they are, of course, not actual humans with any real sense of some of the dangers lurking in the holidays. We may dress our pets up in holiday sweaters and give them a voice on their own Instagram accounts, but let’s remember that they are dependent on their humans knowing the key pet safety tips to keep them not only loved, but also safe. 

The holidays are filled with foods, décor, and activities that aren’t part of our pets’ normal routines. So we should take a moment to think about how this might affect our furbabies. Most animals are inquisitive creatures – it’s adorable when they root out hidden treasures or chew the tags off our newly purchased clothes. But when you factor in all the new scenarios that come with the holidays, combined with a curious pet, the holidays can quickly become a series of dangerous opportunities.

Keep your furry friends safe while being merry and bright this holiday season by following these simple pet safety tips.

  1. Watch the food. Some of our favourite holiday treats can actually be life threatening to our pets. Chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs; a small amount will mess with their GI system (think: vomiting and diarrhea) while a pound or more of chocolate can be deadly. While your dog might be used to rich, marrow-filled beef bones, the more flexible bones of turkeys and chickens are prone to splintering, potentially causing abrasions  in the digestive system.Pet safety tips for the holiday season
  2. Prepare for the unknown.  You can never predict when an accident will happen, but they always seem to come when we’re at our busiest and spendiest. A good pet insurance policy will not only take care of expenses related to accidents, dental work, and behavioural therapy, but will even board or kennel your pet should you ever be in the hospital yourself and unable to look after your pet.
  3. Avoid dangerous décor. Some of the season’s most festive and famous greenery can be toxic to pets if ingested. Poinsettias, pine, holly, and mistletoe are all considered to be mildly to severely toxic, so either keep these plants elevated and out of their reach or eliminate them all together. And a decorated (faux) tree? That’s a giant cat toy waiting to be conquered, so avoid shiny, synthetic decorations like tinsel and ensure twinkly lights are protected with chew-proof plastic tubing.
  4. Stock up on pet prescriptions. Always know where the nearest pharmacy is if you need to fill a pet prescription. Our pharmacists can take care of everything from antibiotics and pain killers to insulin medication, and are as committed to looking after your pet as they our human clients.  
  5. De-stress with treats. Routines tend to go out the window around the holidays and this can be stressful to pets. Keep them calm by whatever means you know will reduce their anxiety, whether it’s giving them a quiet corner with their favourite blanket, some one-on-one cuddles, or their favourite treats.
  6. Never gift a pet. Even if you know someone extremely well, never give an animal as a gift. A pet is a long-term commitment with financial implications, and becoming a pet parent is a serious decision. If you’ve decided you want a pet for you or for your family, there are many rescue organizations that can help match you with your ideal animal. 

Shop our selection of pet care products for other resources to help you care for your pets over the holidays.

We love pets too!

Whether you have a cat or a dog, a companion bird or something more exotic, the chances are, you consider your pet a much-loved member of the family. Pets enhance our well being and entrust us with theirs.

We’d like to help you provide your furred, feathered or scaly friend/s with the healthiest and longest life possible…

Do you know that London Drugs pharmacists can also fill your pet’s prescription?
Our knowledgeable pharmacists are medication experts who provide counselling services and confer with your doctor when necessary. And we’ll do the same for your pet! We fill many pet prescriptions, such as antibiotics, antihistamines, painkillers and heart medications and will contact your veterinarian if needed. Our pharmacies provide insulin, needles, and other diabetic supplies for companion animals and offer the same everyday value for pet prescriptions as for human prescriptions.

We know how important your non-human family members are to you and will work with you to help them stay healthy and well cared-for.

Health Insurance for Cats & Dogs
When Lindy went for a bike ride through the park with Digger, her 7-month-old Schnauzer pup, the last thing on her mind that bright spring day was an accident.

“I wouldn’t normally exercise my dog while riding my bike, but I was pressed for time,” she explains. “I was all geared up to prevent injury to myself, but I never thought that Digger might get hurt.”

As it happened, Digger’s back leg was fractured in 2 places when he was startled by a larger dog that chased Lindy’s bike. His leash became caught in her back wheel, and he was thrown, catching his leg in the spokes.

“I learned two big lessons that day,” says Lindy. “One, Make sure you have a proper leash unit for your bike and two, spending that little bit extra each month for pet insurance is well worth it!”

Since Digger had a complicated fracture, his x-rays, surgery and pain medication totalled just under $5000.

“I would have had to take out a loan if my brother hadn’t advised me to buy pet insurance,” Lindy continues. “It certainly isn’t something I would have considered on my own, but it’s already proven well worth the monthly investment.”

Why we need Pet Insurance
In Canada, we have the benefit of having our basic medical care paid for by our provincial health plans. When anyone in our family is sick or injured, we go to the doctor or emergency room. Fortunately we don’t have to worry about the cost of treatment. We do what is necessary to get better, as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, the four-legged members of our families are not afforded the same luxury. With recent advances in veterinary medicine, pets can have most of the treatment options that we do, including chemotherapy, MRIs, advanced diagnostics and specialized medications – but these treatments are not covered by the same plans that cover us.

This means that for some beloved pets, it’s the end of the road as their owners can no longer afford medical care. (For senior pets, this can run in the $1000s annually.) Others choose to give their pet whatever is needed, often putting themselves and their families into a state of financial hardship.

This is where pet insurance comes in.

To provide affordable insurance for cats and dogs, London Drugs has teamed with Petsecure, Canada’s number one pet health insurance provider. Petsecure pet health insurance is Canadian owned and has been providing insurance for furry family members since 1989.

Petsecure offers four plans, covering accidents and illnesses to various degrees, and also offers coverage for annual preventive care and dental plans.

Pet owners can be sure to find coverage that meets their needs at an affordable cost.

With one in three pets requiring medical attention every year and the cost of veterinary care rising, health insurance for pets makes as much sense as dental insurance and extended healthcare benefits for people.

For more information on Petsecure pet health insurance programs, please call 1-800-268-1169 or visit You can also visit any of our 8 locations.