Pet Owners: Be Aware Of These Risks To Pet Health During The Holiday Season

The holidays are a time to be joyful and celebrate with family and friends. Your pets are a part of your family, and in order to ensure the holidays are a safe and happy time for them too, you'll need to take measures to protect them from the following risks.

Dangerous holiday foods.

Wanting to share your delicious holiday meal with your pet is only natural. However, there are probably a lot of things on your plate that your pet really should not have. Any foods made with garlic, leeks, scallions, or onions, for instance, should be off limits to your pet. These can cause illness (and rarely death) in both dogs and cats. Anything with caffeine, including chocolate and coffee, should also be kept away from pets. Avoid giving your pet skin or bones from a turkey or other holiday meat, since these can cause digestive upset. If you want to share holiday food with your pets, the safest bet is probably little pieces of lean meat and plain vegetables.

Wrapping paper and packaging.

Dogs and cats may enjoy playing with wrapping paper, ribbons, and packing peanuts, but it's best to keep these materials away from them. They could swallow them and choke. In the case of ribbon, it is not unheard of for a pet to become tangled in a strand and suffocate to death before the owner finds them. Clean up your gift wrappings promptly, and put them in a lidded trash can where pets cannot get to them.


These big, red flowers look brilliant in your home, but they are poisonous to your pets. If you have a pet, you're better off purchasing a fake poinsettia. Even if you place a poinsettia up high, a curious dog or cat can find a way to get to it.

Glass bulbs.

It's no secret that cats love climbing Christmas trees. Dogs seem to like batting ornaments around, too. A broken glass bulb or ornament can be more than a minor annoyance. It can be a real risk to your pet should they bite or step on it. Opt for plastic and other non-breakable ornaments only in order to keep your pet safe.

By keeping an eye out for these risk factors, you can ensure that the holiday season is healthy and happy for your pet. If you have any concerns about your pet's health or what's safe for him to eat, speak with a veterinarian.