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Avoid These Holiday Hazards for Pets

The holidays are meant to be a happy, festive time, but they can be hazardous for your pets. Fortunately, you can make this time of year safe for pets by being aware of what holiday hazards to avoid. Keep the following in mind while celebrating the season this year.

Poisonous Plants

Certain kinds of holiday plants can be toxic for pets, including the following:

  • Poinsettia plants are among the most common kinds of holiday flowers found in homes, but they’re not the best choice when you have pets. While these plants usually aren’t deadly for pets, they can cause mouth irritation, vomiting, diarrhea and other unpleasant symptoms if your dog or cat eats them or chews on them.
  • Holly is another traditional holiday plant used for decoration, but it’s not good for pets. Holly can cause pets to vomit and have diarrhea and nausea if they eat it.
  • Mistletoe looks pretty when it’s used for holiday decor, but it can cause serious health issues for pets. If your pets ingest this festive plant, they can end up with cardiovascular and digestive problems.

 If you want plants in your home for the holidays, consider choosing artificial ones that won’t hurt your pets.


Tree lights, strings of lights in windows and other decorations that light up mean that you have more wires and cords around your home than usual during the holidays. If you have pets who like to chew or play with them, make sure they’re well out of reach. You might have to hide cords or wires from curious or playful pets this season. Otherwise, your pets could end up with serious injuries from electrical shock. Frayed wires and cords that have been chewed on are also a fire hazard for your home.

Christmas Trees

Whether you have a real or artificial Christmas tree in your home, make sure it’s pet safe in the following ways:

  • Anchor it securely. Dogs can accidentally knock trees over, while cats can climb them and cause them to tip over.
  • Keep breakable ornaments out of your pets’ reach, so they won’t hurt themselves on pieces of plastic or glass.
  • If you have cats, skip the tinsel, which can cause blockages in their digestive system if it’s swallowed.
  • Keep pets away from tree water. If you have a real Christmas tree, make sure your pets can’t drink the water for it, since it typically contains bacteria that can make them sick.

Follow these tips, and you and your pets can enjoy a safe and happy holiday season this year.

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