Another year has gone by and it’s nearly the holiday season! With so much rushing, hustle, and bustle this time of year, pet injuries and emergencies are more likely to happen by total accident. At Bayside Animal Hospital, we want to help you ensure your pet is well cared for and able to partake in safe celebrations right by your side.

The following pet holiday safety tips will help you enjoy all the festivities without putting your pet at risk. If you ever find yourself in need of urgent pet care, we offer emergency veterinary services year-round during our regular business hours. 24-7 veterinarians are available via the Airvet app for non-life-threatening pet emergencies. 

Which Foods and Plants Are Dangerous for Pets?

cute small brown dog next to pine cones, basket, roses, and on white rug, holiday theme

There are many seasonal plants, herbs, and foods that we enjoy this time of year. Did you know that much of our favorite foliage can cause serious and even life-threatening illness to pets if consumed? Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, our homes are also filled with treats, gifts, and decorations that can harm your pet. Some of the most toxic foods to pets during the holiday season include:

  • Alcohol
  • Animal bones, skins, gravy, grease, and fatty foods
  • All forms of chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions
  • Raw cookie dough
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener)

Check out our blog on the most toxic foods for pets for more information. Get a breakdown of toxic foods for pets, how they impact pets tummies and potential side-effects.

Plants to keep away from your pets include:

  • Amaryllis
  • Holly
  • Pine tree needles & pine cones
  • Poinsettias
  • Mistletoe

It’s best to place any of these festive plants high above the ground to keep pets safe this holiday. Or avoid having them in your home altogether, especially if you have cats who are climbers.

No Cats in Christmas Trees

kitten in artificial Christmas tree branches with red holiday lights

Although it may be funny to watch, climbing in Christmas trees can cause your cat serious injuries. Keeping your pets safe and healthy this holiday season requires additional supervision, especially when it comes to cats and Christmas trees. Chewing on wires can cause electrocution, and fallen bulbs and ornaments can cut tiny paws or cause internal injuries when ingested.

Nibbling on tree branches is also a major concern, as tree needles can cause internal distress. Live trees can be poisonous and plastic needles can harm the intestinal tract.

Hang Glass or Ceramic Ornaments up High

Trimming the tree is such a heartwarming tradition, but your most beloved decorations can be dangerous. Avoid placing any breakable ornaments within reach of your pets. Curious cats and dogs want to get in on all the fun, and they may accidentally cause a bulb to break while playing with it and get hurt. Also, be mindful of tinsel any stray ornament hooks on the ground. These small parts of holiday decor can cause choking and severe gastrointestinal problems.

Cover Christmas Tree Water

Pets may think that the Christmas tree’s base is a great spot to refresh their palettes, but this water is not suitable for drinking. It often contains fertilizer, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals from the tree trunk that can poison your pet. Make sure to cover the Christmas tree’s water, or go with an artificial tree altogether. Holiday pet safety requires some preparation, and you may have to do some rearranging to make sure that your decorations are all beautifully assembled without putting your pets in harm’s way.

Serve Pet-Friendly Treats

variety of pet treats shaped like bones and fish

We love sharing meals with our pets, but it’s important to ensure any holiday samplings are approved for pet holiday safety. You can fix a delicious holiday dinner for your pet that includes some human favorites too, like sweet potatoes, green beans, and a bit of white meat. Kindly ask any guests you have over to avoid slipping food scraps to pets, even when they pull out their cutest begging tricks. Have holiday-approved treats that are easily accessible for guests to give your pets in small amounts, so they’re not tempted to slip them table scraps. 

Keep Pets Safe at Parties

A holiday party involves large quantities of food, drinks, and commotion that can put a pet at risk. With the door opening and closing as guests come and go, your cat or dog could slip out and run off. Exposed alcoholic beverages and plates of food are tempting for pets and could cause illness or injury in an instant. Keep your pets somewhere cozy and safe as guests arrive and before they begin to leave for optimum safety and security. Place their water bowl, bed, and some warm blankets in a quiet room where they can relax while you have fun catching up with loved ones.
If you have any questions, concerns, or want to know more about how to keep pets safe during the holidays and year-round, contact our team at Bayside Animal Hospital here in Kemah, Texas.