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Christmas can be harmful for your pets

Pets will nibble on just about anything, which proves to be especially

worrisome during the Holiday Season. Keep a close watch on your furry

friends and avoid exposure to high risk items when possible. Some of

the most common safety hazards this time of year are the things you

least expect like seasonal plants, gifts under the tree, and extension


1.Ingestion of Holiday Plants can wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal

system, some varieties cause mild illness but others are highly toxic

and can do serious damage. The following plants have been the cause of

many Vet ER visits. These seasonal plants should be brought into the

home with caution or avoided entirely if you have pets.

a. Mistletoe

A very small amount can cause vomiting and lethargy in both dogs and

cats so beware of any dried sprigs that may fall from this hanging



Sharp pointy leaves cause physical damage to the delicate lining of the

stomach and intestinal tract. Holly plants also contain compounds

called saponins which can cause severe stomach upset and vomiting.

Animals will often vomit blood and need to be seen by their veterinarian

immediately if this occurs.


Ingestion of the leaves generally causes mild-moderate stomach upset

which is no fun for anyone. The good news is eating this plant is

unlikely to warrant a trip to the Vet ER or cause fatality.

d.Christmas Trees (live or artificial)

The most common species of XMAS tree brought into the home are pine, fir

and spruce. Regardless of species all evergreen trees contain essential

oils which smell great and add to the attraction for our curious little

friends. Eating a small amount of foliage will cause mild stomach upset

if any, but ingestion of a large quantity of needles can cause an

obstruction which requires surgical removal.

Decorations can be just as dangerous. Food based items like popcorn

garland and salt dough ornaments are very tempting to dogs.

Shiny tinsel and electrical cords are particularly attractive to cats.

Chewing on either can cause severe illness, obstruction and possibly

electrical shock or burns.


Let's not forget all those beautifully wrapped presents under the tree.

Pets have a wonderful sense of smell and can detect things like

chocolate and baked goods.

You would be amazed at how fast they can open those boxes and devour

what's inside.

So plan ahead this year and XMAS proof your home to keep your pets safe

and happy !!!!

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