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Holiday Health Hazards for Pets

The holidays have arrived! For some they are the best time of the year, but for our pets it can be the most dangerous. As much as we enjoy shiny decorations and rich, delicious foods, they can pose major health and safety risks to our four-legged companions.


Holiday decorations can be a huge health hazard to our pets. Tinsel and garland, if ingested, can cause obstructions in the GI tract. As these are strings, they actually cause the intestines to bunch up around them and this can be deadly. Emergency surgery would be necessary in this situation.


Broken bulbs on light strands not only can cause cuts on tongues and teeth, but they can also pose a risk of electric shock.
Real trees smell great, but drinking the water is toxic to our pets. Cookies, candy, raw dough and other holiday treats are special for us but could be deadly to more than just our waistline. Rich, fatty meats such as steak and ham can cause pancreatitis. This is where the pet’s pancreatic organ becomes irritated and starts digesting the tissues around it. This makes your pet very ill, can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and in the worst cases, could kill your pet.

Chocolate is also extremely toxic, so be sure NOT to place any edible presents under the tree! Our pets are master scavengers and would love to open the presents early. Holiday plants such as mistletoe, poinsettias, cedar, balsam and pine are also toxic and can cause a late-night trip to the ER.
Even though our pets are part of our family, it’s best to stick to sharing the joy and love of the holidays rather than food. When in doubt, don’t feed it to your pet, keep them away from holiday decorations, and call your vet if you have any questions.

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