Have Your Pet Avoid These Holiday Hazards

The holiday season has arrived. Will your pet be included in the festivities this year? Use these tips from a Riverside County, CA veterinary professional to keep your furry friend safe over the holidays:

Tree Troubles

If you decorate with a live tree, take care not to let your pet gain access to the underside of it where the anchor or base is located. This contains stagnant water that may harbor bacteria and other contaminants that could harm a pet. Plus, sharp pine needles found underneath the tree can puncture a pet’s intestinal lining when swallowed.

Use caution when placing tinsel and ornaments on your tree, as many pets will see these items as sparkly toys to be played with. Pets could ingest something they shouldn’t, or they could bring down the tree while attempting to get at decorations!

Toxic Foods

Many foods that are likely found in your kitchen around the holidays are dangerous for pets. The list includes grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chives, caffeinated beverages, chocolate, candy, gum, fatty substances, salt, certain nuts, and much more. In addition, don’t give your pet bones. Whether they’re cooked or uncooked, bones have the potential to splinter apart when chewed, creating choking and laceration hazards.


If your holiday celebrations include alcoholic beverages, take special care to make sure your pet doesn’t have the chance to imbibe. Alcohol—wine, beer, liquor, champagne, even certain foods made with alcohol—can poison pets in very small amounts, leading to disorientation, vomiting, diarrhea, and worse in a matter of moments. Keep a close eye on all alcoholic beverages to make sure pets don’t ingest them.

Wrapping Supplies

Keep watch on your pet during any gift-wrapping sessions. If your four-legged companion were to ingest wrapping paper, twine, tape, string, bows, or ribbons, intestinal blockage and other health problems could occur. Also take care not to leave scissors lying on the floor, where pets—or human family members—could step on them.


Lighting candles to set the holiday mood? Make sure they’re placed where pets can’t reach them, as it’s very easy for a pet to swipe an errant tail through an open flame. This could cause burns or startle your pet into knocking over the candle, potentially starting a fire.

If you would like more tips on keeping your pet safe and sound during the holidays, contact your Riverside County, CA pet clinic today.

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