The holidays are a joyous time, but don’t let them become a hazard to your beloved pet! Here are 12 common holiday safety hazards for your pets.

1. Holiday Foods

Onions are toxic and can destroy a dog’s red blood cells.

Grapes and raisins contain toxins that cause kidney failure.

Amaryllis can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Salty and rich fatty foods such as ham, gravy, and turkey skin can cause pancreatitis.

2. Turkey Bones

Bones of any kind can splinter and result in a tear or obstruction in your pet’s intestinal tract.

3. Artificial Sweeteners

The artificial sweetener xylitol, found in some sugar-free baked goods, can cause your pet’s blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels.

4. Chocolate

Consumption of chocolate in pets can cause agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, high heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even death. Read on for more information on Chocolate Toxicity >

5. Holiday Plants

Mistletoe and holly can be toxic if ingested and may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and heart arrhythmia in both cats and dogs.

6. Lights, Candles & Fragrances

Keep lights and extension cords out of pets’ reach or use a taste deterrent to avoid chewing which can lead to burns or electrocution.

Burning candles and hot wax left unattended can cause burns, or a fire, if knocked over.

Exposure to liquid potpourri can cause skin or oral damage.

7. Tinsel and Ribbons

If swallowed, tinsel and other decorations like ribbon and tape can cut up the digestive tract and cause intestinal obstruction. They’re also a choking hazard, so don’t let these decorations become chewing toys in any circumstance.

8. Electrical Cords

If chewed, live electrical cords can cause burns in or around a pet’s mouth, difficulty breathing, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

9. Christmas Tree

Tree fertilizer and stagnant water may cause vomiting and diarrhea.

If your cat attempts to climb the branches of your tree, this could cause additional dangers. Make sure your tree is properly secured, and leave the ornaments and lights off in the first couple of days to see how your pet reacts.

Also, be aware of any perishable gifts that may be wrapped up under the tree, which could contain harmful contents if ingested by your pet.

10. Holiday Stress

Constant visitors and activity can be confusing and stressful for pets, so make sure there’s a room available to them at all times for a quiet retreat.

Stress may show up as stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and irritability.

11. Alcohol

Pets should never ingest alcoholic beverages because alcohol depresses the nervous system.

Alcohol may cause vomiting, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, and seizures.

12. Houseguests

Make sure your houseguests are aware of your pets and mindful of the potentially harmful items they may leave lying around.

Gum, cigarettes, medications, cough drops, hand sanitizer, dental floss are all common hazards to your pet.

In the case of emergency, contact VETMED at (602) 697-4694 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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