Good Dog Blog

5 Holiday Pet Hazards

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The holidays are filled with shiny ornaments, twinkly lights, festive wrapping ribbons, poinsettias and pine trees not to mention all the chocolates and fancy foods  that are sure to capture the attention of your pet dog or cat. Oh how I love the holidays! As you are planning your holiday decorating, parties and gatherings keep in mind your four legged family members. While all the trimmings of the holidays are dare I say “necessary” they can also be very dangerous for your pets.

1. Holiday ornaments are beautiful and many look like toys to your dog or cat. Round and rolly looks like a ball. Keep your glass ornaments up and out of reach. Opt for plastic ornaments for the lower branches. They are so beautifully made nowadays that you can hardly tell them from their glass counterparts. This way if your cat tries to bat it off the tree or if your dog tries to play fetch with it, neither will be harmed.

2. Holiday wrapping ribbons are beautiful but stay away from the narrow curling ribbons as these are particularly attractive to cats. When chewed and swallowed these ribbons can cause serious harm in your pets digestive system even cutting off their ability to pass food or water. Your cat may stop eating or drinking and even experience vomiting or diarrhea, all symptoms of a serious issue. Seek veterinary help immediately.


3. Holiday plants like Poinsettia, Lilies, Holly, Mistletoe and your Christmas tree are dangerous to pets. Ingesting these and other plants can be toxic. Symptoms range from vomiting, diarrhea and in some cases even death. Keep holiday plants up and away from your pets reach. As for your Christmas tree, supervise your pets when they are around it and when you go away from your home block off the area or room where your tree is kept.

4. Holiday lights make your tree and your home sparkle. For many pets these lights and their cords are irresistible.  Choose plastic led bulbs as an alternative to the old style glass bulbs. Use a festive designer duct tape to hold down the cords to your floor or carpet helping your pet to resist the urge to chew on the wires. A dog, puppy, cat or kitten chewing on the wires could cause a fire or harm your pet with an electric shock.

5. Holiday foods have many hidden dangers. Just about everyone knows that chocolate is dangerous for dogs but cakes and cookies with raisins or currants like fruit cake also pose a danger.  Sugar free candy, cookies and gum contain Xylitol which is an artificial sweetener which can cause liver failure. It doesn’t take much of any of these items to cause harm to your pet as they are smaller and their systems metabolize food more quickly than ours.

Just as you would supervise young children or babies around all of the above mentioned dangers, so should you supervise your pets.  After all they are like children in their mentality and they don’t always know what is good or bad for them. Keeping these things in mind will ensure you and your pet have a happy and healthy holiday season.


Terie Hansen

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