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Holiday Pet Hazards

December 1, 2021
The holidays are officially upon us! Pets definitely help make our houses into homes, and add love, charm, and a touch of comedy to any holiday setting. You will need to be careful here, though: many popular seasonal decorations and foods are dangerous to our furry pals. An Ellicott City, MD veterinarian lists some of the biggest safety hazards below.


That pretty tree poses some serious dangers to your cute pet! Any small or sharp ornaments are a risk, as they can choke or seriously injure pets that try to play with or chew on them. Ribbons and ornament hooks are dangerous as well, as are tinsel and lights. If you get a real tree, the water is also a concern, as it could contain trace amounts of fertilizer, pesticide, and other toxic chemicals. Cover the water bowl, so Fido and Fluffy can’t drink from it. Kitties, of course, are purrticularly drawn to trees, and often try to climb them. Putting most of your decorations on the top part of the tree may make it a bit less tempting to Fluffy.


Seasonal favorites, such as poinsettias, holly, and ivy, can make your home look very cozy and inviting. Unfortunately, many popular holiday plants are toxic to pets. That list includes mistletoe, pine, lilies, and yew. Keep these in spots your pet can’t reach.

Fires/Heat Sources

For many people, candles are a must for achieving that homey, holiday feel. However, pets and candles are a very dangerous—and potentially deadly—combination. Don’t put candles, wax burners, or potpourri burners in spots your furry friend can get to. Be careful with fireplaces and standalone heaters as well.


We love those yummy seasonal treats as much as anyone else. However, many of those rich foods spell trouble for our patients. Be very careful with what you offer your pet! Some of the more dangerous options include garlic and onions; chocolate; grapes and raisins; meat on the bone; raw dough; caffeine; and avocado. Ask your vet for more information.


Some pets may try to chew on or eat those pretty presents! Ribbon, tape, tinsel, staples, plastic, and packing peanuts are a few of the possible hazards here. Consider using a puppy pen to keep your four-legged pal away from the presents. Season’s Greetings from Claws N Paws Animal Hospital, your Ellicott City, MD animal hospital. Call us anytime!

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