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Keep your Pet Safe during the Holiday Season

Updated on December 20, 2013

Pet safety during the Holidays

If you are like me, you will be spoiling your pet this holiday season.

There are a few steps if followed that will help keep your favorite four legged family member safe and happy.


Did you know that there are some varieties of plants that could make your pet very ill or even worse kill them? Poinsettias, mistletoe and lilies, should be kept out of the reach of your curious pet. I know as soon as something new comes into my home, Casanova (my Akita) has to go check it out with a sniff, but my husky girls on the other hand have to investigate by trying to eat it.

Christmas Trees

Did you know that Tinsel can get twisted in your pets intestines and if not caught in time could be fatal. Ornaments, are seen as new toys for your dog to chew on, and when the ornament brakes, the pieces may lacerate your pet’s mouth, throat and intestines. There is also the chance that the pieces could create a choking hazard or intestinal blockage. Please put all ornaments on the higher branches of the tree. I have big dogs and they think they can jump up and reach the higher branches, to avoid this I often place my tree in a corner out of their reach. I also try to create enough obstacles in front of the tree to prevent my dogs from thinking, I was bring the outside in, and that it was acceptable for them to go to the bathroom under or on the tree.

Secondly, The water at the base of the tree contains secretions that can at the very least cause a stomachache. I make sure its covered with foil and then a decorative wrap. This seems to do the trick to keep them out of the tree water.

The beautiful lights on the tree or around your home could also be a hazard. If the wires to the lights are bitten, your dog could receive an electric shock which may cause injury to their mouth, throat and possibly cause death.

I try to avoid lit candles all together, but if you do decorate with candles, place them in a hard to reach area that your pet can not reach. Pets can get seriously burned on their body and their paws.


Its natural to want to give your pet some of the same holiday foods that you are eating. Its once a year, what could it hurt. Unfortunately, it can hurt and it can kill.

Alcohol: Can cause a drop in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated animals can experience seizures and respiratory failure.

Coffee, tea, or anything containing caffeine: affect the heart, stomach, intestines and nervous system. Symptoms include restlessness, hyperactivity, increased urination, excessive panting, increased heart rate and blood pressure levels and possible seizures.

Foods that are high in fat can cause vomiting diarrhea and pancreatitis.

Fruit: Seeds or pits from the persimmons, peaches, and plums can cause inflammation in the intestines as well as, an intestinal obstruction. Peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous if the pit is broken and eaten.

Grapes and raisins have been known to cause acute renal (kidney) failure in dogs. With kidney failure, a pet’s ability to produce urine decreases, which means they are unable to filter toxins out of their system.

Nutmeg which is found in a lot of holiday foods can be fatal.

Nuts: Almonds, non-moldy walnuts and pistachios can cause an upset stomach or an obstruction of your dog's throat and/or intestinal tract; macadamia nuts and moldy walnuts can cause toxic poisonings.

Food Gifts for your dog:

My dogs are always on my Holiday shopping list. When purchasing pet gifts please keep in mind that any pet treat that is bright green, bight yellow, bright red, or any other color could make your pet ill. The ingredients used to color those items have been known to cause cancer.

Pigs Ears: Pigs ears have been know to have salmonella, high in fat; many are treated with artificial colors and possibly even formaldehyde.

Raw Hide: Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. The hide could contain poisonous residues including arsenic and formaldehyde. Salmonella or E. coli contamination is possible. I personally will not give raw hides to dogs

Cow Hooves: They are hard enough that a dog can actually break a tooth. They can also be chewed up into sharp fragments which may cause an obstruction in the intestines, which may not be discovered until the fragment punctures a hole in the intestine. Often there is an infection from the puncture because the fluid from the intestine flows out in to your pets system. The infection from leakage of intestinal contents can be fatal.

Lastly, please remember the pets less fortunate and donate to your local animal shelter.

I wish you, and your family (two and four legged members) a Happy and Safe Holiday.


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