Holiday Hazards for Pets

cocker spaniel dog sleeping in front of holiday lights

The holidays are here, and our furry friends love to be included in the festivities. Watch out for these holiday hazards so you and your pet can stay safe and cozy all winter long.

Plants and Flowers

Lilies are lovely plants for any time of year, but if you spot them in a holiday bouquet, keep your pet away. These flowers can cause acute kidney failure in cats if they ingest just a few leaves or petals. Luckily, these flowers are not as dangerous to dogs, but they can still cause an upset stomach if your pup tries to snack on them.

Poinsettias are known for their elegant red petals, which might look tasty to some pets. These holiday staples can cause irritation and vomiting if ingested. Some other harmful holiday plants include holly, ivy, juniper, mistletoe, and chrysanthemums. Reach out to your veterinarian immediately if your pet accidentally eats these plants.

Food and Drink

Meat dishes can be found on almost every holiday table, and as much as our pets may beg, it is best to say no. Classic entrees like ham and turkey can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Keep your drinks out of your pet’s way as well. If they consume alcohol, it can cause alcohol poisoning or drops in blood sugar, blood pressure, or body temperature. These conditions could all lead to seizures or respiratory failure.

When it’s time for dessert, keep an eye on your furry companions. Candy and other sweet foods may contain a natural sweetener called xylitol, which can cause low blood sugar or liver failure. If you’re baking, be sure to keep unbaked dough far away from your animals. If the dough is ingested, it can rise inside your pet’s digestive tract, leading to blockages, ruptures, seizures, or respiratory failure. If you want to indulge your pet’s sweet tooth, talk to your vet about some pet-friendly treats.

Holiday Decorations

It wouldn’t be the holidays without decorations! If you have a live Christmas tree, the evergreen needles can get caught in your pet’s intestinal tract, so pick up fallen needles frequently. Also, the water can contain harmful bacteria, so be sure your pet can’t reach the water basin.

String lights and candles are necessities for the holidays. Try using electrical cord covers to prevent your pet from chewing the cords of menorahs or string lights. Candles are commonly used in holiday celebrations, but as always, never leave them unattended. It is best to place your candles where your pet can’t reach them.

Stay Safe this Season

By watching out for these hazards, you and your pet can safely enjoy this time of the year.