Pet Safety During The Holidays

All things stringy!

Tinsel, garland and ribbons are beautiful and pets love them too! That being said, “stringy” objects can easily be ingested by pets. This type of foreign body is of extra concern because it causes the intestines to bunch up and ribbon and tinsel can be very sharp on the sensitive intestinal walls.


Unbreakable ornaments are best! To your pet, your christmas tree looks like a tree of TOYS! From cats batting them to dogs grabbing them, it’s just better to be safe! Salt dough ornaments also smell and taste delectable to our canine friends but see point #1 about the string that they hang from.

Table Food

The top offenders for the Holiday season are: chocolate, nuts, raisins, and bones. From vomiting and diarrhea to kidney problems, seizuring and pancreatitis, nobody wants to spend the holiday season at the emergency clinic. If your pet gets into human food, it is always best to give the clinic a call.


Sugar free treats and candy are great for our waistlines, especially during the Holidays, but are extremely dangerous to our pets. Xylitol ingestion in dogs and cats cause low blood sugar which requires immediate attention.


Poinsettias and Amaryllises can cause vomiting, diarrhea, sore tummies and drooling. It’s best to keep these away from your pets, or if you are like me, re-gift them to a family member that knows how to actually keep a plant alive.

Wrapped presents

Were you one of those kids that shook their gifts to try and figure out what they were? It’s time to be that kid again! If you think that the perfectly wrapped present under your tree may be a box of chocolates, Aunt Ethel’s fruit cake, or a homemade batch of cookies, you’re better off to hide that one out of the reach of your furry friends.

It’s okay to be a party-pooper!

Provide your pets with a safe, quiet, space to hide if they decide the festivities are too much for them. The holidays can be quite stressful to not only us, but to our pets too! It is also a great idea to get a temporary ID tag if you are travelling during the holidays. This way your pet can be returned to you if they accidentally get away.

Electric cords

We’ve all seen Christmas Vacation, electricity and pets don’t mix.

O’Christmas Tree

Although your pets may love the “tree flavored water”, it can cause some stomach upset, and the preservative additives can be toxic to pets.


Setting the mood for a celebration is great. Singed hair or having candles knocked over, not great.

By: Caitlin Johnston, RVT