Holiday Hazards for Your Pet

The holiday season is filled with lots of fun and happy times with friends and family, but we must remember some of our holiday traditions can be a hazard for our furry friends.

  1. Chocolate – So many cookies and holiday treats are filled with chocolate which is toxic to dogs and cats. Keep treats out of reach to avoid ingestion.
  2. Grapes and Raisins – Even though the holidays come with lots of sweet treats, there may be some healthy fruit platters in the mix too that include grapes. Raisins may be found in fruit cakes and other desserts. Both are very toxic and cause kidney failure that can be fatal.
  3. Tinsel – This makes a pretty decoration for our trees, but is quite dangerous for our curious cats. Ingesting tinsel can cause an obstruction that may require surgery.
  4. Xylitol – This is a sugar substitute found in sugar-free desserts and treats. When ingested by pets, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures and potentially liver failure.
  5. Plants – Mistletoe and Holly are very toxic to pets. They cause vomiting and diarrhea and heart arrhythmia if ingested. Poinsettia is less toxic, but can still cause gastrointestinal upset. Lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.
  6. Holiday Ornaments – The sharp edges could cause lacerations to the mouth if chewed on. Homemade salt dough ornaments should be kept out of reach of pets as the high salt content could be fatal.
  7. Electrical Cords – The holidays come with many twinkling lights, and the cords are a hazard for curious animals that like to chew on things. This can cause an electrical shock and burns in the mouth.
  8. Alcohol – Stick to water for your furry friend. Alcohol should never be given to an animal as it causes vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing and seizures.

Taking some simple precautions during the holiday season will ensure that we can enjoy our holidays with our furry friends by our side. After all, the holidays would not be as fun without them!

Written by: Mandy Corbeil, RVT