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Keeping Your Pets Safe During the Holiday Season

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

The holiday season is a time for family, both human and four legged. While we are celebrating, it is important to put our pets' safety first so we can all have a happy holiday! Read on to learn about the things to avoid and be cautionary of when enjoying the season with our furry besties.


Tinsel attracts dogs and cats. It's bright, its glittery, and it looks like a toy! So pets may end up eating it. If you’re lucky, they'll just poop it out a few days later. But if it balls up somewhere along the digestive tract, your pet could end up vomiting and the tinsel could cause an obstruction. That’s when it's time for a trip to the vet, and it could mean surgery to extract the tinsel.

Glass Ornaments

Again, these beautiful delicate decorations look like toy balls. They can easily fall off the tree and break -- and cut up your pet's paws. Even worse, if they try to eat the glass shards, you’re looking at serious cuts in their mouth, and even down into the intestinal tract. Be careful around the tree and garland and keep an eye on your pets around these items.


Keep an eye on your Christmas lights if your dog or cat loves to chew on things. Chewing on lights is especially dangerous because of the glass bulbs and the danger of electrocution.

Holiday plants

Holiday plants are high on the list of holiday dangers for your pets. Christmas trees, holly, mistletoe, poinsettia, and amaryllis are all toxic to pets. Ingesting any of these can lead to vomiting, lethargy, seizures, and even death. A word of wisdom: Keep plants away from your pets this time of year.

A Feast Not Fit For Fido

Too many table scraps aren’t good for your dogs anyway, and some human food can be downright deadly.

  • Turkey skin and bones

  • Ham

  • Alcohol

  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Sugar-free sweets

  • Chocolate

  • Avocado

  • Grapes

  • Anything with raisins

Turkey bones are a choking hazard and can wreak havoc on the way through the digestive system. Avocado causes vomiting and diarrhea. Other foods like chocolate, or sugar-free items made with xylitol, are toxic. Another chemical, theobromine, is present in chocolate and is poisonous to dogs. Take your pup to the vet if you think he has eaten chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate.

Paws Before you Party

The holiday season is rife with hazards for your pets, but if you know what to look for, this will be a safe and happy holiday season for all members of your household, no matter how many legs they have. Make it a merry Christmas with pet appropriate treats (hello Kong filled with peanut butter and toys with cat nip!), and lots of love and attention for your pets. Happy Pawlidays!

HSNT - Pets and People, Saving Each Other®

HSNT’s mission is to act as an advocate on behalf of all animals and to ensure their legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection; to provide for the well-being of animals who are abandoned, injured, neglected, mistreated or otherwise in need; to promote an appreciation of animals; and to instill respect for all living things.

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