Tips for Keeping Pets Safe During the Holiday Season

Ghent, WV (WNS) — It’s time to enjoy the holidays with your furry friends, but what could be in danger for them during the holidays?

The holiday season is here, and with it comes food, decorations, and more that can be harmful to your pet.


Many plants used for holiday decorations are poisonous to pets such as dogs and cats. If you have a live version of these plants as ornamentals, keep an eye on them and make sure your pets don’t eat any of them.


Easily recognized, this popular flower is mildly toxic to pets and can cause irritation in a pet’s mouth or esophagus if ingested, as well as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. For those who really want to decorate with poinsettias, keep them out of reach of your pets or use fake versions of the flower.

The lotus

Lilies are also poisonous to pets, although to a greater extent than poinsettias. For dogs, symptoms of lily intoxication include loss of appetite, burning in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, gastrointestinal upset, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased heart rate, and even possible death. Can also be included. For cats, lily intoxication symptoms are similar to dogs, except that they can also cause kidney failure in cats. All parts of the lily and even the water in the vase can be toxic to your pet.

Holly and mistletoe

Holly is another plant that is poisonous to your pets. The berries contain chemicals that are toxic to pets, and the leaves can cause oral and digestive damage if swallowed. Symptoms of ingested holly berries include severe gastrointestinal distress that can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, as well as lethargy and abdominal pain.

Like holly, mistletoe contains toxins that can cause fainting, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, large drops in blood pressure, seizures, and even death.


Yet another popular holiday plant is the amaryllis. As already mentioned, it is also toxic and can cause loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors and lethargy.


Azaleas are another poisonous plant that can cause symptoms similar to some other poisonous plants such as lethargy, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, heart problems including abnormal heart rate and/or arrhythmia, tremors, seizures, and Even a coma.

Live Christmas trees

Live Christmas tree oil/sap and needles can cause problems for your pets. Needles from a live Christmas tree are sharp and can hurt a pet if eaten or stepped on, and can even cause loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. Live Christmas tree stand water may also contain bacteria or harmful chemicals.

If your pet eats any of these plants, remove the plant and place it where it cannot be reached again. If you don’t know which plant they ate, you can also keep a piece of the plant until it is identified. Make plans before the vacation, such as knowing how to get to the nearest emergency doctor 24/7.

Write down the phone number of your veterinarian’s clinic, the number of the 24/7 emergency vet clinic if it is different from your regular veterinarian, the number of the ASPCA Poison Control Center, and the number of the Pet Poison Helpline, and your local Also know the holiday times for people. Veterinarian’s office.

Plants aren’t the only thing that can harm your pet, Christmas and holiday foods can also be harmful. Some foods that should be kept away from pets are candy, nuts, chocolate, and grapes, as well as table scraps such as sauces, turkey and ham bones, stuffing, onions, and unbaked bread dough.

Decorations can also be a hazard to animals. Ornamental hooks, tinsel, ribbon, and other materials can present choking hazards, intestinal obstruction, or damage to your pet’s mouth. Ornaments are dangerous if a pet breaks them and steps on them or tries to eat them, be sure to clean up broken ornaments or other decorations before your pet steps on them. Regular jewelry isn’t the only thing that can harm your four-legged friends, the materials that make up food-based jewelry can also be bad for pets.

Candles can be pretty to look at, but don’t leave them unattended, as pets can knock over them and set things around or possibly themselves on fire.

Inspect all Christmas lights and extension cords occasionally, as pets can chew on them, and unplug them when you’re not home. Pets can also get tangled in Christmas lights, so place lights where pets are hard to wrap around. If there are any exposed wires, wrap them with electrical tape and make sure your pet doesn’t chew on them, or get a new light wire if necessary.

Lights aren’t the only things that can be dangerous to your pet’s health. Batteries, small toys or pieces of toys, wrapping paper, and other small objects should also be kept out of reach of pets, as they can be a choking hazard and harmful if swallowed.

Holidays just aren’t the same without family. Let your guests know that you have pets, and where they will stay if the pets will be in separate rooms inside and outside during cold weather. Give your pet plenty of toys to play with that they can enjoy and keep them busy at the same time.

If you’re traveling on vacation, make a plan for your pet. Whether that involves finding ways to bring them with you, have someone you trust keep an eye on them, or even ride with them if you’re gone for several days. If you will only be gone for a few hours, check to make sure they have enough food and water. This is also a good time to get collars and tags for your pets, so someone can contact you if they go missing.

The holidays are a time for family, and that includes everyone’s favorite furry friends. Safety is important, no matter who it’s for, so make sure your home is ready for the holidays!

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