Holiday Hazards for Pets

The holidays can be an exciting time. However they can bring extra hazards for your pets. Some of the most common ones are as follows:


Small turkey and ham bones can lodge in the throat, stomach and digestive tract requiring surgery to remove. Also, the fats and gravies that you may add to your pets' food can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Holiday Plants

Many plants can be poisonous to you pet. The holidays add a few more to that list and include mistletoe, poinsettia, lilies and holly (the berries are especially toxic).

Electrical Cords

These are always a hazard to curious kittens and puppies. But the extra lights and decorations provide even more temptation. Make sure that all electrical cords are in good condition and out of reach.

Christmas Trees

These create a whole realm of dangers for your pet. Poorly secured trees can fall on rambunctious pets as the run around or try to climb them. Pine needles can cause gastrointestinal (stomach and intestines) irritation or perforation. Sharp or breakable ornaments should be kept well out of the way of curious mouths and paws. Christmas trees may contain additives and preservatives, which leach into the water and can be toxic if ingested. Tinsel, yarn and ribbon can get wrapped up throughout the intestinal tract and create a blockage and/or possible perforations


Holiday candy can cause gastrointestinal problems and become toxic once ingested. Chocolate is one of the most common causes of toxic reaction in pets. The darker the chocolate the worse it is. Do not place wrapped boxes of chocolate under the tree -- dogs can sniff them out. Also be sure to keep the candy dishes covered so playful paws aren't tempted to fish them out.

Lost Pets

The holidays make it easier for pets to sneak out of the house with the extra guests and visiting friends going in and out. Be sure to keep identification on your pets at all times and keep them contained in a bedroom if you are expecting a lot of foot traffic through your front door.