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Holiday Hazards for Pets

The holidays can be a special time with our animals. There’s nothing quite like cozying up to the fire with your beloved cat on a winter’s evening or watching the kids play with the dog on Christmas morning. But hidden among the feasts, goodies, decorations, and celebrations of the holidays are easily overlooked holiday hazards for pets.

Feasts & Goodies

Straying from your pet’s normal diet with holiday fare may cause gastro- intestinal upset or more serious problems. Ham — or any fatty food, for that matter — can cause mild to fatal pancreatitus in pets. (Symptoms of pancreatis include vomiting and diarrhea.) Raisins, chocolate and macadamia nuts can also pose a danger, and can be deadly if ingested. Keep an eye out for food that may be left out and forgotten, as they can be risky for a roaming pet looking for a treat.


Trees, tinsel and other adornments can pose holiday hazards for pets. Make sure your tree is well secured and that decorations are far out of reach. Remember that string lights and loose cords can cause electrocution if they are chewed.

Mistletoe can also be dangerous, as some types can cause cardiovascular problems when ingested. Keeping poinsettias out of reach to avoid stomach upset is a good idea, too, although the ASPCA now says you need not banish poinsettia from your home for fear of toxic exposure.