Holiday Safety Tips for Pets (Plus, Bonus Treat Recipe!)

The holidays can be tons of fun for families with delicious treats and decorations—however not everything is safe at this time of year for your pets. Keep your cats and dogs safe with our holiday safety tips for pets from Wichita Veterinarians Dr. Kara James and Dr. Gary Skinner.

Decoration Safety

  • Animals are curious, so it’s important to keep them safe when holiday decorations are pulled out for the year.
  • Remember that some holiday plants are deadly to animals including poinsettias, amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly.
  • If you have a real Christmas tree, don’t add anything to the water (i.e. aspirin, sugar, etc.).
  • Tinsel and homemade salt-dough or food-based decorations are especially tempting for pets and can cause intestinal blockages. Be sure to keep these out of the reach of pets.

Tasty Treats for Dogs and Cats

Families often bond while making all kinds of treats and delicious food for their celebrations. While our fur babies don’t want to be left out—many traditional holiday treats aren’t good for them. So, we searched the internet to find the tastiest and most festive-looking holiday treats for pets that are also safe to eat. We found four recipes online that are sure to delight the taste buds of your family pet and included them below.

Applesauce and Oatmeal Dog Treat Recipe
(from the website)

  • prep 10 mins
  • cook 20 mins
  • total 30 mins
  • yield 1 tray
  • This is the base recipe for perfect cut-out cookies. You can combine this recipe with the red and green cookie doughs below for dazzling cookie creations.


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups rolled oat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine all ingredients in food processor or stand mixer. Add flour as necessary until dough is no longer sticky and is ready to roll out.
  • Keep dough covered to prevent drying between batches. You can rehydrate dough with a little coconut oil as needed.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Dog Treats

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and milk on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats at low speed, beating just until incorporated.
  • Using a small cookie scoop, roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch balls, forming about 20. Roll balls in remaining 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, pressing to coat.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.*
  • These no-bake treats are so easy your whole family will want to help make them.

While these treats aren’t necessarily for the holidays, they will definitely get your cat in the holiday spirit!

HOMEMADE CAT TREATS (from the website)


  • 1 can tuna in oil, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups of flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 cup water
  • dash of parsley
  • bottle cap for cutting out treats


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a food processor mix tuna, egg, flour, water and parsley until a dough forms. If the dough looks too sticky, add a bit more flour.
  • Dust a surface with flour and roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick.
  • Use a bottle cap to cut out treats from the dough.
  • Bake for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Let cool and serve to your cat.

Catnip Cat Treats Catnip Cat Treats Recipe
(from the website)


  • 5 oz tuna in water drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon catnip


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined.
  • Form into a dough. Dough will be sticky.
  • Place dough onto a floured surface.
  • Pull off small pieces of dough and roll into small balls.
  • Push the dough down so the treat is the size of a nickel and place on parchment paper.
  • Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Stay safe and have fun this holiday season from your Wichita veterinarians, Dr. James and Dr. Skinner, and the Cimarron Animal Hospital staff!

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