Holiday Hazards for Pets

The Holiday season should be memorable for everyone in your family, and a trip to the vet with your dog or cat can quickly change this, so awareness is key to keeping everyone safe and happy this year.

Indoor decorations are fun and festive but often forget some can be hazards to your furry family members.  Some symptoms include burns, upset stomach, diarrhea, oral burns, skin irritation, kidney failure, to name a few.

Our Quick List

  • Christmas Tree
  • Holiday Lights & Wires
  • Batteries
  • Holiday Plants & Flowers
  • Potpourris
  • Tinsel
  • Candles
  • Holiday Gift Bags



Christmas Tree

Anchor your holiday tree securely so it doesn’t fall if your cat climbs, uses it as a scratching post, or even if your dog pulls an ornament off the tree, causing it to topple.  The Evergreen needles can also get stuck in your pet's intestines if eaten, and the water from a live Christmas tree will cause stomach discomfort in canines and felines, with or without water additives.  The water is also a breeding ground for bacteria, causing stomach upset and diarrhea.

Holiday Lights and Wires

Electrical cords and wires from our beautiful displays can cause severe injuries to our pets.  Electric shock and oral burns can occur if your pet chews on electrical cords. Take precautions to restrict their exposure to holiday lights if your pet seems interested in chewing electrical cords. Electrical cord covers and cord organizers are beneficial, especially for chewers and puppies.


During the holidays, it seems like many gifts require batteries.  Keep loose batteries off the floor and away from the curious dogs and cats.  A battery can easily roll and are are quickly turned into a fun toy for active paws, for both dogs and cats.  If they swallow or even puncture and ingest the battery acid, it can burn your pet's mouth, esophagus, and stomach.  Take precautions and keep batteries out of reach.

Holiday Plants & Flowers

Mistletoe is something many people hang during the holiday season.  But, did you know Mistletoe can cause cardiovascular problems and gastrointestinal disturbances in pets?  Many of the lily varieties, if ingested, can cause kidney failure in cats. 

Holly is also a popular plant to have around, but it too can be harmful.  It can cause pets to experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when ingested.

The poinsettia is pretty and not commonly around the house year-round, causing curiosity.  It can cause an itchy rash by getting the sap onto your pet's skin.  And, if they eat a few leaves, they will probably feel ill or vomit, but beyond that, it shouldn’t cause any severe issues for your pet. 


To any living space, Potpourris adds a fantastic aroma, but did you know they pose risks to pets? They contain essential oils and detergents that can severely damage your pet's mouth, eyes, and skin.


It’s sparkly and glistens in the light, but it is also very eye-catching to a curious cat.  Pets love to bat it off the low hanging branches of holiday trees or carry it in their mouth.  Swallowing Tinsel can cause obstructions to the digestive tract and cause severe vomiting.  If you have a curious kitty, consider using something that glistens, so keep the kitty safe.


Candles are lovely to create a festive mood during the holidays.  Candles left unattended can cause a lot of trouble for a curious pet.  If they knock candles over, pets may burn themselves or cause a fire.

Holiday Gift Bags

Most pets, by nature, tend to be curious creatures.  Keep gift bags out of reach of your pets, unless you know what is in them is safe for them.    

We wish everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday Season and we hope this list is helpful or has made someone aware of hazards they were not aware.  Happy Holidays!

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