Avoiding Holiday Hazards

Your house is likely pet-proof most of the year, but the upcoming holiday season poses new risks for your pet. Here are some dangers the holiday season may present:

  • Chocolate: That box of chocolates wrapped and trimmed under your tree may satisfy your sweet tooth, but it's poisonous for your dog. Make sure all food-related gifts are tucked away safely.


  • Turkey: Turkey is delicious, but its bones and fat are too much for your pet's gastrointestinal system and can cause severe upset. Make sure carcass leftovers are secured away from your pet.


  • Bones: Bones are never a good choice for a snack as they may become lodged or splinter in the digestive system. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on an appropriate snack.


  • Tinsel: This shiny decoration is tempting for your kitty. Pets, particularly cats, love to chew and play with glittery tinsel. Unfortunately, they can't resist eating it, and tinsel can become entangled in the intestinal tract. Often, it must be surgically removed. Does it really look that pretty on your tree?

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  • Stress: You may love company during the holidays, but consider whether your pet does too. The presence of many visitors unknown to your pet can cause unnecessary stress for him/her. If you're planning a party, provide your pet with a quiet, secure place to settle in while you party.


  • Gifting pets: If you're thinking of giving a new pet as a holiday gift, think again. The holidays can be a hectic and stressful time, particularly for a new pet, and the recipient may be unprepared for the responsibility.  


  • Electrical cords and decorations: These can pose potential hazards for your pets. Avoid leaving your furry friend unsupervised around these tempting items. Try to segregate your pet from holiday trimmings when you're not home.


  • Holiday plants: A variety of plants can be toxic to your house pet. Check to see if a plant is safe before bringing it into your home.


  • Over-feeding: You might overeat during the holidays, but don't increase the treats for your pet. Obesity is one of the major causes of long-term ill health in pets. Maintain your animal's regular diet and keep plenty of fresh water available at all times.

If your pet becomes ill as a result of coming into contact with any of these holiday hazards, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice on first aid and further treatment.

Have a safe and happy holiday and follow these few simple suggestions to promote your pet's continued well-being.