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Safe for Christmas: Holiday Pet Safety

Safe for Christmas: Holiday Pet Safety

Holidays are so much fun, but they can also be dangerous. Make sure you know the risks for your pets so you can keep the safe.

If your cat or dog eats anything and becomes lethargic, has excessive diarrhea or vomiting, you should call your vet immediately.

Watch the Food


Chocolate is bad for cats and dogs. It can cause illness and even death. Keep your chocolate out of reach of your pets, like in a cabinet. Sometime counter tops are not out of reach enough, especially if you have cats that like to get on tables or counter tops. Another good idea is to explain to your kids why chocolate is bad for you pets so they don’t sneak them any sweet treats. Just because they are bad for your pets doesn’t mean that they wont beg for it, so stay strong and keep the chocolate for the humans.

Table Scraps

A lot of us feed our pets table scraps throughout the year, so you might ask why you can’t give them table scraps now. But Christmas table scraps are different from normal food because of the different ingredients in the holiday feast. Many of the spices used in traditional holiday food is toxic for your pet and can cause some pretty serious reactions, onions and Turkey bones not being the only danger.

So if you do give your pup some turkey, make sure the skin is off and there are no bones or gravy.

Watch the Tree

Christmas TreeTawgu

We all love the big beautiful Christmas tree. However, these trees can be heavy and could hurt your pet if it fell over on top of them. Make sure that you have a properly fitting stand and that your tree is secured so it can’t fall over.

Some pets like to eat the tree. Fir trees (Christmas trees) are mildly toxic and can cause mouth and stomach irritation. You may notice your pet vomiting if they have been chewing on your tree.

The tree water is also very tempting, but has the potential to be hazardous. The water may have pesticides, preservatives or fertilizer. It is also common for people to put Asprin in the water which can be dangerous for your pet. Though vets often prescribe Aspirin, it is  given in very low dosage and the content in the water can be higher than the recommended dose.

String and Tinsel

We love to put string, tinsel and ribbon on the tree and your pet loves that you put them on. To them they look like wonderfully sparkly toys to play with and chew on. Swallowing string and tinsel can cause serious gastrointestinal problems, so make sure they are either secured firmly to the tree or out of reach of your furry friend.

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights set the mood for the whole season. But do you remember that scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when the cat bites the string of lights? Well, as funny as the scene in the movie was, in real life it is not so funny. Cover any wire on the ground with a wire cover (tape will work) to keep exposed wire covered so your dog or cat cannot chew on it.

Watch the Plants

Mistletoe and Holly are the most toxic of the holiday plants. Mistletoe will cause gastrointestinal upset and in bad cases can cause death, though this is rare. Holly will have more serious effects, though the berries are the most toxic part and most places remove the real berries and replace them with plastic berries.  Poinsettias are not actually toxic for your pets. So feel free to decorate with this pretty festive plant.


Now you know the dangers of the season, go and have a safe and wonderful holiday with your family on  four legs as well as two. If you have any questions about your pets holiday safety, please call Vetco and we can answer your questions.


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8200 Menaul Blvd NE #R Albuquerque, NM 87110 Phone: (505) 292-3030

Veterinarian Clinic Website: www.vetconm.com


The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.