Pet Holiday Hazards

December is full of holiday celebrations, but nothing can spoil good cheer like an emergency trip to the veterinary clinic. These helpful tips can help keep your winter holiday season jolly for you and your pet!

Sara Forsberg · December 08, 2020

Pet Holiday Hazards- How to Keep Your Pet Safe this Season

December is full of holiday celebrations, but nothing can spoil good cheer like an emergency trip to the veterinary clinic. These helpful tips can help keep your winter holiday season jolly for you and your pet!

  • Trees and decorations are beautiful in our homes for the holidays, but can pose a danger to your furry family members. Poorly secured trees can fall on rambunctious pets as they run around or try to climb them. Pine needles can cause GI irritation and perforation. Sharp or breakable ornaments should be kept away from curious mouths and paws. If you have a live Christmas tree, make sure your beloved companions do not drink the water. It may contain additives and preservatives, which can leach into the water and can be toxic if ingested. Also stagnant water can harbor bacteria which could cause stomach upset for our pets. Additionally tinsel, yarn and ribbon can get wrapped up throughout the intestinal tract and create a blockage and/or possible perforations potentially leading to an emergency surgery. Lastly don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. If you leave the room, be sure to put the candle out.
  • Electrical cords are always a hazard to curious kittens and puppies. But the extra lights and decorations provide even more temptation. Make sure that all electrical cords are in good condition and out of reach. If your pet seems interested in chewing electrical cords, take precautions to try and keep them away from holiday lights. You can use electrical cord covers and cord organizers to make electrical cords less accessible and out of sight. Also unplug decorations while you're not around.
  • Bright ornamental plants are a great way to dress up the house during the holidays, but be careful. Many of these plants can be poisonous to your pet. This list includes lillies, mistletoe, poinsettias and holly (the berries are especially toxic). If you’re unsure about a particular plant, look it up to check toxicity. Observe your pet’s interest in eating plants, and place them out of reach. Check your plants for any signs of chewing or missing leaves.
  • By now most know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which a resourceful pet will go to get a hold of something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from candy dishes, the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans. And just say no to giving your pet table scraps! Table scraps as well as cooked bones, should never be fed to your furry friends. Another unusual danger is raw unbaked bread dough. It is surprisingly appealing to pets, especially if it contains salt. Ingested yeast dough can rise inside a pet’s digestive tract, blocking or rupturing internal organs and potentially causing seizures and respiratory failure.
  • Having holiday company means ringing doorbells, increased activity, and visitors that can be stressful and upsetting to a pet’s routine. To help avoid unnecessary stress, consider restricting your four legged friend to a relatively quiet room until the guests are gone. Be sure to put their food, water, comfort items and toys (and litter box if needed) in the room too. With extra guests and visiting friends going in and out, the holidays make it easier for pets to sneak their way out of the house. Be sure to keep identification on your pets at all times and consider microchipping your furry companion as an extra precaution.
  • Finally, plan in advance. Make sure you know how to get to your 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic before there's an emergency. Always keep these numbers posted in an easy-to-find location in case of emergencies:
    • Your veterinarian's clinic phone number
    • 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic (if different)
    • Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

The holidays are a festive time, but the season brings added dangers for pets. Keep your furry friends away from these items to ensure a merry holiday for all.


Sara Forsberg

Sara Forsberg

Sara Forsberg has been part of the BARF team since 2019. She has been passionate about animals since a small child growing up with a Siberian Husky and 3 cats, and as an adult having a Labrador Retriever that suffered from a lot of allergy problems. She now has an indoor/ outdoor farm cat rescue named Callie, and a new addition in another Lab named Jax. She has 7 children that keep her busy in most of her spare time; but enjoys anything on or near the water, spending time with friends and family, music, reading and cooking.


Dec 09, 2020

Loved the info. Great advice. Take care of your pets. Their part of the family.

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"BARF®" is our acronym that means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a complete and carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. Our formula mimics what nature has designed our pet's to thrive on in the wild. The result is a pet free of allergies, digestive problems, and full of life!