BaxterBoo Blog
November 16, 2017

Common Holiday Hazards to Avoid With Your Pets

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The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but when you have pets, you have to take some extra precautions to ensure that they are truly wonderful. Creating a list of the things that could be troublesome for your pet during the holidays is the easiest way to remember what they are so that you can avoid them. Just jot them down and put it on the refrigerator so that everyone in your home can easily refer it to ensure that your pets are safe during all of your holiday festivities.



Be Mindful of Dangerous Foods


There are certain foods that are awesome and delicious for humans, but for pets, they can cause significant health consequences. The following are foods that you want to make sure that your pets never get a hold of:


  • Chocolate is one you are probably aware of because it is often discussed that it is not good for cats or dogs. This is because it contains methylxanthines which contain both theobromine and caffeine. The higher the amount of this ingredient, the more dangerous the chocolate is for your pet. When your pet ingests chocolate, they are at risk for anxiousness, stumbling, abnormal heart rhythm, hyperactivity, tremors and seizures.
  • Xylitol is a type of artificial sweetener that is often used in holiday baking. It is dangerous for cats and dogs, but with dogs, it can be deadly. This is because it can drop their blood sugar to a life-threatening level. If your pet gets a hold of this sweetener, they might experience vomiting, weakness, seizures, lethargy and collapse. In dogs specifically, there is also the risk of liver failure.
  • Grapes and raisins are bad for dogs, but experts do not exactly know why. However, there have been many cases of these fruits causing dogs to experience kidney failure, so it is best to keep them away. If your dog ingested grapes or raisins, they might experience vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination, lethargy and increased thirst.
  • Bones and fat trimmings are commonly fed to pets as a treat during the holiday season, but these can cause major issues for your pets, many of which will be veterinary emergencies. These issues include pancreatitis, severe vomiting, esophageal blockage, broken teeth and severe diarrhea.
  • Alcohol is often served during holiday celebrations, but make sure that you stick to humans who are 21 and older. If your pet ingests some alcohol, they can experience unsteady gait, lethargy and vomiting. Animals are very sensitive to alcohol.



Keeping these food items tucked away in your refrigerator or in a cabinet is the best way to prevent your pet from getting into them. Should they ingest one of these food items, you should take them to the vet right away to be evaluated and treated. You can also keep some pet treats around so that you can give them a little something extra that will be safe for them.


Holidays Decorations That Might Cause a Problem


Decorating your home for the holidays is fun and exciting, but when you have pets, you have to be careful about how you decorate. Remember that pets love to play with things that are shiny or dangling, so when you are choosing your items, be mindful of this. Put dangling or shiny decorations up higher where your pet is not able to reach them. You want to be especially careful with ornaments that can break. If your pet knocks one off and accidentally ingests a part of it, this could result in a significant intestinal injury that will likely require emergency surgery. There are ornaments that are shatter-proof that you can look into. You also want to make sure that your dog or cat has plenty of pet toys to keep them entertained and away from the Christmas, or other holiday, decorations.


Be Careful With Holiday Plants


There are certain plants that are popular during the holiday season that can be poisonous for your pets if they ingest them. For example, if your cat ingests lilies, this is a medical emergency. Poinsettias and mistletoe are also plants that you want to be careful with. For example, mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal symptoms. In the most severe of cases, there is the risk for heart problems.


You can often find fake versions of these plants that are just as pretty and will work for decorative purposes. If you want the real deal, just make sure that you put them in a place where you pet is not able to get so that there is no risk of ingestion.


Watch out for Liquid Potpourri


You want your home to smell great for your holiday gatherings, but this specific type of fragrance can be dangerous for cats and dogs. If they lick it even one or two times, they are at risk for serious chemical burns. You want to keep this away from them and find ways to keep them in areas that are safe. For example, if you have a cat, liquid catnip can keep them occupied elsewhere and away from the liquid potpourri. It is important to note that dogs and cats are attracted to the potpourri smell and this causes a curiosity and eventually them trying to lick it.


Place Candles and Cords With Care


Pets are curious and they are also creative because they can turn just about anything into a toy. If you have a lot of cords around, they might consider chewing on them and this can result in serious burns and injuries if the cord is plugged in and currently being used to power something. You want to organize your cords and keep them away from pets. With candles, they can get knocked over, causing a fire. Stick to those that are flameless for the highest level of safety.



Now that you know what the possible holiday dangers are for your pets, it will be a lot easier to avoid them. Let the entire family know and place a reminder of these somewhere in your home. This helps to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy the holiday season, including the furry members of the family. 

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This entry was posted by Shauna.

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