Nov 27 2018

Holiday Pet Safety Tips | Winslow Animal Hospital Dog & Cat

The holidays are coming and its time to “deck the halls with boughs of holly”… actually you might not want to do that if you have pets. In fact, there are several other common holiday items that you might want to avoid, or keep out of reach. 

Toxic Plants

Most of these plants are staples of the holiday season, however serious issues can occur if your pet consumes them. So we suggest either avoiding them completely or buying fake ones. 

Holly – holly can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and depression.

Lily– this plant is extremely dangerous and can be lethal, especially to cats. If your cat or dog has ingested any part of a lily they need to see a veterinarian immediately. 

Pine – pine needles and sap can cause mouth irritation. Water from your Christmas tree can be irritating for them as well since the sap while make its way into it. Not only that, but could contain pesticides and fertilizers that were used for the tree. Make sure to cover up your tree’s water so no curious pets get into it. 

Mistletoe – This plant is toxic to your pet. If any part of it is eaten, a veterinarian must be seen right away.

Poinsettias – a sap that this plant secrets can cause stomach upset and mouth irritation.

Foods to Avoid

A lot of us tend to gain a couple of pounds during the holidays. Who could blame us? All of that delicious, rich food just beckons us. Unfortunately, it could also beckon to your furry friend and there are many things found in holiday food that can cause them serious harm.

Chocolate – chocolate is toxic to dogs, the more your pup eats the higher chance the chocolate becomes fatal.

Xylitol – this substance is found in many sugar free items. It can lead to low blood sugar, liver failure and potentially death.

Alcohol – drunk puppies and kitties could go into comas, alcohol can even be lethal to pets.  

Coffee and tea – both tea and coffee contain caffeine, which is what makes them dangerous for your pet.  Caffeine cans not only cause vomiting and diarrhea, but can also cause damage to their nervous system.

Fried and Fatty food – your pet could get pancreatitis from eating fatty food or meat fat.

Onions and Garlic – these two plants are often found in our food, but if your pet consumes them damage could be done to their red blood cells and in turn they become anemic. 

Macadamia Nuts – while most nuts, like peanuts, don’t effect your pet, Macadamia nuts can be quiet dangerous. They can cause weakness, vomiting, hyperthermia, a loss of control over bodily moments, and depression.

Avocado – the avocado seed can be a serious choking hazard. Not only that, but avocados can cause GI upset.

Bones – not only are bones choking hazards, but if they splinter, they can also cause punctures internally. 

Raisins, currants and grapes – these items are also toxic to your pet and can cause kidney failure.

Nutmeg and Cinnamon – like most toxic things, this really depends on how much your pet has consumed if they are in danger or not. However, it is bet to avoid these since too much cinnamon or nutmeg can lead to hallucinations, blisters, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, vomiting, changes in blood sugar, and diarrhea. 

Uncooked yeast dough – it could become very problematic for your furry friend if they consume this. Not only does it cause GI track problems, but it can also cause bloating (twisting of the stomach).

Dangerous Decoration

Decorating the Christmas tree and the house are some of the most exciting times during the holidays. Family coming together to show their holiday spirit. Just be careful with some of those decorations, because your furry family members could get into some trouble with them.

Christmas Lights – You pet could electrocute themselves if they chew on the cords.

Ornaments– Glass ornaments in particular are dangerous if you have pets simply because they can cause some severe internal and external injuries if broken.

Candles – not only can your pets get burned on these, but they could push them over and cause a fire.

Ribbon and Tinsel – These can twist inside of the intestines, causing blockages. 

Their Comfort

We all know how stressful the holidays can be for us, why make it stressful for your pup or kitty as well?

  • Give them a safe place to go that is away from all the noise and confusion.
  • Have their favorite toys all ready to go in their designated area.
  • Some white noise playing in the background could go a long way in helping drown out the noise for your pet.
  • If your traveling and your pet doesn’t do well with it, consider boarding or hiring a pet sitter while you’re away.


Remember to always talk to your veterinarian. If you think your pet has consumed something or for advice, please give them a call.

LifeLearn Admin | Pet Health, Tips

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