Holiday Pet Hazards

At All Pets Animal Hospital, we want you and your pets to have a safe and happy holiday.  Here are few suggestions to help you avoid the common problems we encounter during the holidays.


Ribbon, tinsel, ornaments and gifts may be enticing to animals, but they can become ill if they ingest them. Keep all decorations on the upper 2/3 of the Christmas tree and pick up small décor from the ground.

Mistletoe, Holly and Amaryllis (bulbs) can all be highly toxic. Seek veterinary consultation immediately if your pet ingests any of these.

Poinsettias have received bad publicity as being highly toxic. They are actually not truly poisonous yet their milky sap can cause gastric upset.

Burning candles can injure pets. Keep them away from anywhere your jumping cat can reach!

Christmas Trees: Secure the tree! Cats have been known to topple the tree resulting in injury to your pet or your home.

Electrical/extension cords can cause electrical burns or electrocution. Be sure you have cords secured and out of the way.


Chocolate: This popular treat can be very toxic or even fatal to animals. Seek veterinary consultation immediately if your pet ingests chocolate.

Bones: The bones from your holiday dinner should never be given to your pet; they can splinter or break sending shards down the digestive tract, which may result in internal injury and hospitalization.

Overindulgence: When faced with rich foods that they are not accustomed to, dogs and even cats become prone to vomiting, diarrhea or even a condition called pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is extremely dangerous and usually requires an extended hospital stay. It is definitely more prevalent around the holidays thanks to the abundance of rich foods.

Trash: Many aching digestive tracts come from a pet foraging in the trash for holiday leftovers!

Make sure your pet has a large bowl of fresh water. Thirst animals may resort to drinking from the toilet or water under the Christmas tree. Both can contain chemicals and/or preservatives, which cause gastric upset.

Before traveling or kenneling, check that your pets have all required vaccinations and health papers. If they are on medications or a special diet, have enough to last through the trip.

The chaos of the holidays can leave some pets confused or full of anxiet. Be considerate and set aside a special quiet place with a blanket and fresh water where your pet can seek solitude when the festivities become stressful. Also, watch for open doors and sneaky, scared pets. Make sure your pets are wearing collars with tags and have an up to date microchip in case of escape!

A cuddly puppy or kitten may seem the “purr-fect” gift, but unfortunately after the holiday season animal shelters are crowded with these surprise presents. Owning a pet is a life-long commitment that not everyone can make. Instead, opt for a stuffed animal toy, pet supplies or an animal ornament.

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