Common Holiday Pet Hazards

Don’t forget about your pets this holiday season and I am not talking about gift giving. The holidays are a time for good food and treats, but when it comes to giving food and treats to your pet, be cautious.

This years list of most common holiday hazards for pets are feeding problems, foreign-body ingestion and accidental poisoning according to Gina Spadafori at

Tricks or Treats?

You may be tempted to give your pet something special like a piece of turkey skin or a little bit of aunt Sue’s secret dip, but please resist. Fatty foods like this can be too rich or spicy and can trigger something minor like an upset stomach or serious inflammation of the pancreas or intestines that could mean a life-threatening medical emergency.

How can you avoid this problem? Beef or poultry won’t hurt your animal, but remember to steer clear of the skin, which contains more fat.

If you would like to treat your pet to a special bone, stick to knuckle bones for large dogs and oxtails for small ones. These treats can be found at the meat counter and are inexpensive. Poultry bones and turkey bones are prone to splintering and can drive shards through your pet’s intestines. Always remember to supervise your dog’s chewing. If you have a dog that prefers to eat the bones rather than chew, make certain these bones aren’t causing internal problems like, constipation or blockage.

While the Christmas tree is a great decoration, it can hazardous for your pets. Ornaments and ribbon can be very appealing for cats and kittens. If ingested, the ribbon, string or yarn can twist up the intestines. The water under the tree contains secretions that can at the very least cause a stomachache. Cats have also been known to climb the limbs of trees. To avoid any problems, make the tree inaccessible to your pets.

Truth or Myth?

Which holiday plants should you decorate with that are not toxic to your pets? Mistletoe and bulbs of the amaryllis plant may seam harmless, but they are toxic. Surprisingly, the maligned poinsettia is a safe plant to have around this holiday season, even though it has been thought of as the poster child for holiday pet poisoning.

Please remember to use common sense when treating your pets this holiday season. Now you have it, the top reasons you don’t want to visit your vet in the next few weeks.


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