June 19, 2024

Holiday Hazards for Your Pet


As the holiday season draws near there are many hazards that await your pet.  First I would point out that people food is not meant for pets.  We as humans want our pets to be included in the holiday festivities; in many ways we will express this by allowing them to have their own turkey dinner or Christmas ham.  This can be very dangerous for your pet.  Most pet’s digestive systems are not equipped to digest these fatty meals.  Even a small piece of turkey skin can cause serious digestive upset for some pets.  In serious cases it can cause pancreatitis, which usually requires hospitalization at your veterinarians and can turn into an expensive Christmas ham – just to make Fluffy “feel” special during the holidays.


Another hazard that comes to mind is the Christmas tree.  This is a joyous occasion for you cat or kitten.  Not only does it become an inappropriate perch (although not if you’re the cat) but the cords of course are a hazard.  Chewing electric cords can be deadly for pets.  The ornaments can also be hazardous, especially if they are ingested.  Tinsel, well what can I say, tinsel is sparkly and moves easily, making it a perfect item that cats love to play with, but if ingested it usually does not pass through intestinal track without incident. Please, please, please avoid tinsel if you have cat.  Another tree item is the water provided for real trees, this is a favorite watering hole for dogs and cats, but tree sap is known to be toxic to pets.


Most people know that chocolate is toxic to dogs.  Chocolate toxicity is based on your pet’s weight and also the type of chocolate, for instance, bakers chocolate is much more toxic than milk chocolate.  A call to your veterinarian is needed if you pet ingests chocolate.  Xylitol is another ingredient found in candy and chewing gum that is toxic to pets.  Keep these stocking stuffers out of reach of your pet.


Other toxic items found around the house include: poinsettia, lilies, holly, potpourri, as well as food items like: grapes, raisins, and onions.  Be sure to call you veterinarian if your pet has encountered any holiday hazard.


With that have a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year!




21 thoughts on “Holiday Hazards for Your Pet

  1. It is surprising how many pet owners feed people food to their pets and then they wonder why they have such high vet bills! My two little dogs always get treats at Christmas, but, they are dog treats, they get their own little Christmas stocking and everything. I know, I am daft as a nut! 😆

    1. We also have a stocking just for the dog and cat. As well they get just dog or cat treats. I think if people realize how much money it costs to treat their pet they may reconsider feeding them people food.

  2. Some people just don’t have a clue about their pets. As you say it’s not just food that harms my fellow furry friends it’s stuff on the Christmas tree as well 😉

  3. I never considered the tree to be a danger, but I imagine the tinsel and stuff could be a problem. Thanks for helpful tips–I’m going to keep a keen eye on the dog during the holidays.

    Great post! 😉

    1. Thanks. My dog once ate chocolate fudge that was wrapped in a gift under the tree one Christmas! Luckily, we caught before he got too much.

  4. This was my very first blog post. I am amazed of the comments I have received. Awesome. Thanks for all the feedback.

    1. Don’t be amazed! it was a brilliant post and one which I think a lot of people, special pet owners, have found interesting, looking forward to more 😉

  5. My father in law loves to feed people food to my whippet. He loves dogs, so he think my whippet should be fed with people. I have to keep eye on him this christmas season as we have christmas lunch at my place..

    1. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on your father in law and whippet, you don’t want any unexpected trips to the vet.

  6. Hi Mel
    It is not that I don’t like pets, but I do not share my food with them 😉 In my opinion it is not being good to your pets to feed them a lot of stuff that make them sick. Give them some extra of their own food instead if you want to be nice to them or take them for a long work.

    1. A long walk is a good solution to giving you pet some extra special attention. I bundled up the other day and braved 34 degrees and cloudy weather – just for my pug 🙂

  7. Hey Mel,

    What a great – and very thoughtful – post. Christmas can be a trying time for many pets (and their owners). We used to have a cat and I must agree that cats and Christmas trees don’t get on all that well.

    At the moment we have a Yorkie. The big danger for him is that he will run off with a stray piece of chocolate. We tell the kids not to leave any lying around, but they can be a bit forgetful at Christmas with so many distractions.

    Anyway, I hope that you (and your pets) have a very merry Christmas this year.

    1. Thanks for the nice comment. At least once a season our dog does get into something inappropriate. Several years ago we taught him how to open gifts and now we have to be careful when we start places gifts under the tree. If we don’t pay close attention he will start unwrapping…funny!

  8. Hi Mel,

    Thanks for this post. I just wanted to highlight that although a lot of people know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, it is also toxic to cats. Like Hamish said, it can be very difficult to keep track, especially with kids around, but it pays to keep an eye out for any stray pieces that could be lurking on the floor.

    1. Yes, chocolate is also toxic to cats, in fact the actual toxic portion of chocolate is called theobromine. It is certainly hard to be on top of the game with large family events with children. This is where having a dog (unfortunately not most cats) kennel trained comes in handy. A nice safe place for them to hang out.

  9. I am aware that I can’t always say “”NO”” to my visitors giving foods treats to my dog this holiday season so I just see to it that I put my pet away from the people and the foods as well. The pain seeing them sick is just unbearable.

  10. Human food is not always good for animals and many people are usually advised to have separate food for their pets. However it is surprising to see how such advice is ignored because many people tend to feed their pets what they are also eating.

  11. I’m not a pet lover because I have an allergies every time I hold them or carry them. It is not really good to eat along with the pet. By the way I’m not saying I hate pets but I actually love them. 🙂

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