Pet Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

When you’re planning for the holidays, do you consider where your pet fits into those plans? If you’ll be hosting family and friends at your home to celebrate the season, know that your pet will be at a higher risk for food toxicity, choking, and other dangers. This is due to the abundance of food, decorations, and other objects that might make attractive snacks (or chew toys) for your pet.

See below for a list of foods and decorations to be careful with and let us know at (317) 896-9993 if you have questions!

Foods That Are Dangerous for Your Pet

Our pets can’t eat all of the foods that we can. These are especially dangerous:

  • Meat bones – bones can break teeth, injure the mouth, throat, or internal organs, and even cause bowel obstruction if swallowed
  • Garlic, onions, shallots, chives, and leeks – raw or cooked, these vegetables can cause anemia in pets if eaten in large enough quantities
  • Chocolate – chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which, if consumed, can result in muscle tremors, a rapid heart rate, and even seizures
  • Grapes/raisins and currants – ingesting these fruits may cause renal failure
  • Raw bread dough with yeast – yeast can expand in the stomach, causing the stomach to enlarge and push against the surrounding organs, leading to breathing difficulties and other serious health problems
  • Candies, baked treats, and sugar-free gum – these foods often contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that may cause low blood sugar
  • Macadamia nuts and walnuts – these foods are high in fat and can cause issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and depression

Decoration Reminders

  • Christmas tree – don’t let your beautiful Christmas tree become the victim of your pet’s playtime shenanigans—anchor it tightly in a heavy-duty tree stand and make sure it’s tucked in a safe corner or room that can be closed off when needed (if possible). If you have a live tree, be extra careful as the needles and pine sap are highly toxic to cats and dogs.
  • Tinsel is lightweight and prone to falling off tree branches, and it’s also a potential choking hazard for curious pets. We recommend not using tinsel at all if you can avoid it, and opt for a safer alternative to add sparkle to your home.
  • Ribbon, twine, and yarn are fun playthings for pets, but like tinsel, they can cause choking or bowel obstruction. Long, string-like objects can also damage the internal organs.
  • Electrical cords can burn your pet’s mouth if they decide to chew on them. Keep light strands secure and out of the way to prevent chewing.

Additional Tips

  • If there are small children visiting for the day, be sure to set rules for how they can interact with your pet. Kids don’t always know when it’s appropriate to approach them, and having lots of people in the house might be stressful for your pet.
  • If your pet is skittish around lots of people and becomes anxious easily, designate a quiet, closed-off room where your pet can relax with their bed, favorite toy, and food and water. Be sure to check on them regularly in case they need anything.