Holiday Hazards for Pets

Christmas is a happy time of year, but there are some significant holiday decorations and snacks that can be dangerous to your pets.

Tinsel and Ribbon:  These sparky, shiny objects are too good for cats to pass up, but if ingested can cause a linear foreign body that can quickly become life threatening to your four-legged family member.

Chocolate and Other People Food:  Chocolate contains theobromine which can cause tremors, difficulty walking, seizures and death if ingested in high enough amounts.  The amount of theobromine differs depending on the type of chocolate with dark and baker’s chocolate having the highest content, milk chocolate having low levels and white chocolate has almost no theobromine.   Chocolate is also high in fat so can cause vomiting and diarrhea.  Giving your dog his own turkey dinner seems like a nice idea, but the high fat content can cause pancreatitis which is a painful disease that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and often ends up with the dog being hospitalized.

Christmas Lights:  If the cords get chewed on it can lead to electrocution and burns the mouth.

Christmas Tree Water:  If you add a preservative to keep your tree fresh ensure it is pet safe.

Christmas Plants:  Poinsettias have a bad reputation for being toxic, but are actually quite safe – the sap of the poinsettia plant is irritating so it may cause some drooling.  Mistletoe is toxic and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing and death.

Keep both yourself and your pet safe this holiday season! 


Happy Holidays from all the Veterinarians and Staff at the Horizon Veterinary Group!

 Article by:  Dr. Robyn Gallacher