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Keeping Pets Safe at Parties

November 1 2017

Will you be hosting a holiday party or family reunion at your home in the coming months? If you own a pet, it’s important to keep their safety in mind while planning for your event! Here, your McHenry, IL veterinarian tells you about some common party dangers and how to keep your pet from harm.

Toxic Foods

It’s likely that your gathering will have at least a few foods that aren’t good for pets. Everything from onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins to caffeinated foods and beverages, chocolate, candy, and gum can prove toxic. Bones, whether cooked or uncooked, are another no-no; they can splinter apart dangerously or cause a pet to choke. It’s safest to keep your pet out of the kitchen entirely!


Will your event include alcoholic beverages? Don’t allow your pet to sneak a sip, and never give alcohol to your pet on purpose. It turns out that alcohol affects pets just like it affects us! The difference is this: small amounts can quickly result in alcohol poisoning. This goes for liquor drinks, beer, wine, and champagne—make sure your pet doesn’t imbibe.

Table Scraps

Ask your guests not to slip your pet any table scraps. While one or two tasty morsels won’t do any harm, it’s easy to overdo it. Too much of any foreign food can cause a pet to experience an upset stomach or vomiting, and too much fatty food at once can even lead to a dangerous case of acute pancreatitis! Try feeding your pet their own food during mealtime to keep them from begging.

The Garbage

Be sure to keep a close eye on the garbage can for the duration of your party; it’s home to all sorts of hazards for pets! The garbage bag might contain toxic foods, bones, fatty scraps, coffee grounds, and various other things that a curious pet shouldn’t get their paws on. It’s best to secure the garbage somewhere that your pet can’t reach until you’re able to dispose of it properly.

Pet Anxiety

Keep this in mind: some pets might be overwhelmed by multiple guests invading their territory. For some of our animal companions, a party might be very stress-inducing! Try setting up a “safe zone” of sorts in a quiet bedroom, complete with a soft bed and a few of your pet’s favorite toys.

Want more great pet safety tips? Call your McHenry, IL vet.