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December 3, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 7 Faves: 0

Top 5 Dangers for Pets During Christmas

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

Christmas is upon us! Carolers are singing, lights are being strung, and children are building snow-forts.

But, wait! This can be a dangerous time of year for our fur kids! How? Let's review the top 5 dangers.

#1 Tinsel, String, and Garland

Although beautiful when decorating, these three items can be very dangerous to our pets if swallowed! To our fur kids it is an invitation for playtime, batting at these shiny or yarn-like items. It is best to leave these three items off the tree and away from little "paws" reaching them.

#2 Chocolate and Other Foods

Yes, we want to "treat" our pets throughout the holidays too! But, be very careful what you give them. Certain human foods can make a pet very ill, and too much can cause diarrhea or vomiting. Chocolate is considered poisonous to our fur friends, so keep those wonderful holiday treats out of their reach and make sure to keep special treats made just for them on hand.

#3 Holiday Plants

Mistletoe, Lilies, Holly, and Poinsettias are all very toxic and dangerous if eaten by our fur kids. These holiday plants are lovely, but in a household with fur kids, they are not a good match. Don't decorate your home with these plants. Talk to your florist about plants that are festive for this time of year, but safe for pets.

#4 Christmas Tree

The biggest part of Christmas decorating can also be one of the most hazardous for pets! Kitties LOVE to climb and puppies LOVE to jump! Make sure your Christmas tree is anchored securely. Also, consider keeping the lower half of the tree undecorated, so as not to entice your fur kids to "bat" at ornaments or pull at decorations or lights!

#5 Visitors

Family is a big part of this time of year! Parties and guests may be common at your home. However, for Fido and Fife, frequent guests may give them the opportunity to "door dart" or cause anxiety. Consider providing your fur kids a quiet area and allowing only supervised visitations. This will help pets from being stressed by rambunctious children, being fed food they probably shouldn't have, and prevent them from escaping out the "revolving" door of guests coming and going.

Christmas is a joyful time of year, and a visit to an emergency vet can dampen your spirits. I hope these tips help to keep your pets safe!


ASPCA - Holiday Safety Tips

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  • this is very useful stuff i have 1 cat and 2 dogs thank you so much

  • Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the article, so many pet-parents underestimate the "dangers" this time of year brings to our pets.

  • Hey thanks for the tips i have 4 cats 1 dog and a bird is it safe for birds around christmas

  • i just got a puppy

  • Hi, I would definitely keep a watchful eye on your puppy, they are known to chew everything, think of all the cords that are out this time of year, YIKES! Keeping your puppy in an area that is away from all the decorations with baby-gates and using a crate will help keep them safe. Just like cats and dogs, you should be mindful of your bird's surroundings too.

  • thank you but what are some suggestions that i could use for my bird i sometimes let him fly in the house

  • I am sorry, but I am not a bird owner, nor do I have a lot of knowledge about birds. I would contact your local pet or bird store and see what they say. Otherwise, you could just keep your bird in his cage or move him to a room where the Christmas decors are not out to make sure he is kept safe.

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