‘Tis the season to be safe: Holiday Safety Tips

The holiday time is filled with wonder...and your pets are just as curious and it is so important to keep your animals safe. Here are a few holiday safety tips so everyone can enjoy the season safely!

  • Securely anchor your Christmas tree. The tree is very enticing to a pet and if they are playing near the tree, it could tip or fall over on your pet. 
  • Avoid the tinsel. This shiny material may look like a toy, but swallowing it can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration, and can even require surgery.
  • Lights! You may have extra cords around the house to plug in lights and holiday decorations during this time of year. Keep them out of your pet’s reach to avoid burns and electrical shocks.
  • Choose ornaments carefully. Dangling ornaments may look like toys to your pet who may swat at them or chew them causing them to break. Use shatterproof ornaments or materials other than glass. Broken glass can injure your pet’s mouth, digestive tract, and paws.
  • Keep your human food for yourself! Holiday time is about the joy, family, friendship with a little holiday cheer and food. Keep your pets away from these common holiday human treats:

    Chocolate: Contains a chemical called theobromine, as well as caffeine, which can be especially harmful to dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic.
    Xylitol: This artificial sweetener is found in many products including peanut butter, ketchup, and candy. It is especially harmful to dogs.  
    Alcohol. It is absorbed quickly in animals and usually causes vomiting after ingestion
    Scraps and table food. Pet food is not human food! Make sure you provide your pet with their own treats as snacking on table scraps or rich human food is not good for your fur friends. 

Many household items are toxic! Even the most common products may contain toxins that are dangerous if ingested by your animals. Items include:

  • Tree preservatives. If you use a tree preservative or even if you have a live tree, this chemical can be found in the water at the bottom of the Christmas tree. If ingested it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Poinsettias. The bracts on this holiday plant (usually red or white colored) can irritate your pet’s mouth or stomach. 

Visit the ASPCA's Poison Control page for additional information on substances that are toxic to pets, as well as an emergency number in case you need immediate assistance.