Holiday Hazards For Pets

The holiday season is here! Festive lights and decorations are popping up everywhere, and you can hear carols almost everywhere you go. Your furry friend will be right there with you over the next few weeks. Just be sure to keep your pet’s safety in mind. This can be a dangerous season for our animal companions. Here, a Portage, MI vet lists some holiday dangers for pets.


Decorations are one of the biggest concerns for pet safety. Many popular plants, like poinsettia, holly, ivy, and yew, are toxic to pets. Tinsel, garlands, ribbons, and electric lights are also hazardous, as they can choke or entangle playful pets. Keep these things well out of reach of those cute paws! Also, immediately pick up any ornament hooks, pine needles, or tinsel strands that fall on the floor.


The tree itself is another concern. The water may be contaminated with chemical residue, which won’t necessarily stop pets—especially dogs—from drinking it. If you get a real tree, cover the water bowl. Pine needles can also be very dangerous if ingested. Of course, there’s also the issue of cats attacking trees. Keep Fluffy’s frisky streak in mind as you decorate. Put the majority of the decorations on the top third of the tree, where your furball can’t reach them. Just hang a few non-breakable objects on the bottom branches.

Fire/Heating Elements

Candles, potpourri burners, fireplaces, and heaters should all be inaccessible to pets. You definitely don’t want Fluffy sticking her tail in a candle, or Fido knocking over a potpourri burner.


Many people foods are toxic to pets. Never give your furry buddy garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; chocolate; alcohol; grapes, currants, or raisins; caffeine; pitted fruits; or xylitol. Raw dough and yeast are also unsafe, as are meat on the bone, nuts, mushrooms, and anything that contains a lot of fat, salt, or sugar.


Guests should of course never endanger pets themselves: the issue here is stress. If you have company, make sure your furry pal has a safe, quiet spot to retreat to.


Cold weather is just as unpleasant and dangerous for pets as it is for people. Keep Fluffy indoors, and limit Fido’s outdoor time when temperatures drop.

Happy holidays from all of us here at Pet Vet Family Pet Care Center, your local Portage, MI vet clinic. Call us anytime!

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