Holiday Hazards for Your Pets

Holiday Hazards for Your Pets

The holidays can be a stressful time, not only for you, but for your pet(s), as well.

Chaotic comings and goings, unusual sights and sounds and abundant, rich foods can make even the most well-adjusted animal upset, causing everything from mild anxiety to life-threatening illness should the wrong holiday treat be met in the wrong way.

To ensure that the creatures who trust you are well-protected, you must understand the necessary precautions to take.

It’s similar to consulting an h1b attorney when you want immigration help or going to the doctor to avoid sickness: forewarned is forearmed!

Take a look at four common holiday pet hazards here:

Cat in a santa hat

Table of Contents


Whether you have the most laidback pooch or a scaredy-cat feline, at some point the hustle and bustle of the holidays will probably impact each — one just sooner than the other!

New people and new events disrupt normal, everyday schedules and can cause animals to experience anxiety.

Help alleviate mental distress by providing your pet with a safe, quiet place to which it can retreat when it has had enough. And if you can’t control the volume, at least try to drown out the chaos with soothing music or TV show.


Most folks know that small bird bones and chocolate are bad for dogs, but what about grapes/raisins, xylitol, cinnamon and onions?

Many seasonal foods like fruitcakes and cookies use raisins, and even in small quantities, raisins can cause liver failure in both dogs and cats. Xylitol, a sugar substitute, is similarly toxic to pets.

It’s most often used in candies, peanut butter and gum and can also be used as a sweetener in packaged sugar-free baked goods.

dog dressed as santa

While cinnamon as a food spice is unlikely to cause your pet any distress (unless it’s inhaled), cinnamon-scented decorations, soaps and candles can be troublesome, causing diarrhoea and vomiting if ingested.

And if eaten raw, onions and garlic can cause pets, particularly cats, to experience red blood cell damage and anaemia.

Make sure you avoid setting food where your pets can sneak samples, and remind visitors to refrain from sharing anything but pet treats with them.


Holly and mistletoe are frequent holiday decorations, enhancing everything from wreaths and garlands to tabletop centrepieces and candle rings.

But if your pet eats the plant or the berries from either, it can develop severe intestinal upset.

Amaryllis plants also cause stomach problems. And while not a plant, the water in Christmas tree stands and other holiday arrangements can harbour toxic preservatives and fertilizers and breed bacteria and mould; animals should not be allowed to drink from them.

To be safe, consider replacing fresh greenery and flowers with faux arrangements. Not only will you potentially save your pet from some unpleasant issues, you can save money by reusing the decorations year after year.

dog and lady sat by a christmas tree


Lights, tinsel, candles and other decorations may look pretty, but they can cause your pets serious harm.

Keep candles lit only if you are in the room with them, and they are on a secure surface out of your pet’s reach.

Use as few extension cords as possible and try to place them where your animals cannot chew on them.

Check battery compartments to ensure that they are properly closed and, if you must put them out, place glass ornaments and tinsel high on the tree.

It might sound dramatic, but curious pets can burn, shock and cut themselves or thoroughly obstruct their intestinal tracts.

A few simple precautions can save you and your pet needless pain and worry!





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Holiday Hazards for Your Pets

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