Top 7 Holiday Pet Dangers


Tinsel, if ingested, can cause intestinal obstructions. Dogs think that you put those decorations (glass balls) on the tree just for them. If broken, the glass can cause injury to the pet. Cats love to climb the tree which can be dangerous. Electrical cords, lights, candles, and additional decorations can be attractive to your pet and potentially life-threatening if chewed or ingested.


The tree hosts many dangers for your pets. The water in the tree stand may contain fertilizers, depending on the tree’s source, which would end up in the water and the tree sap. The still water can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. Some people also put aspirin in the water to keep the tree fresh. If the tree water is ingested, it can cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea, and possibly more severe issues depending on the water.


The gifts under the tree can be potential dangers for your pets, too. Never put edible treats under the tree. Your pet can smell them and could try and eat them along with the packaging, which could be toxic, a choking hazard, and/or cause intestinal problems.


Foil gift wrap and ribbons can be a choking hazard and cause intestinal obstructions if ingested. Please keep your pets safe by keeping these items out of their reach.


Although these plants can make your home festive, they can be harmful to your pets. Poinsettias, Holly, Mistletoe, Amaryllis, and Lilies can be toxic to your pets.


During the Holidays many people are coming and going. Be sure that your guests know the rules for your pets—no food or treats without your permission. The following foods are harmful to your pets: yeast bread, cookies, candies, nuts (macadamia nuts can be toxic to dogs), chocolate, alcohol, fatty foods, meats, bones, and sugar-free items.

And the number 1 Holiday Pet Danger… STRESS

Unfortunately, every pet owner experiences some stress during the holiday season, whether financial, family, traffic, travel, or just stressing about hosting or attending a holiday party. Our pets are so devoted to us, and they can be susceptible to our stress levels. Don’t you wish we could explain to them that it isn’t their fault? Stress in pets may show up in medical conditions like stress vomiting or diarrhea (colitis) or behavioral problems such as chewing or destruction. Not only is this unpleasant for all involved and possibly fatal to pets, but it can add emergency vet bills at a time when finances can already be tight. Please take extra time this holiday season to do an additional close Snout-To-Tail™ Assessment, give them plenty of attention and exercise and be sure you’re letting your dogs heal your days ahead to reduce your stress and theirs!

This article was a collaborative effort with permission from
Pet Tech and Dallas Pet CPR & First Aid Education!