Holiday Hazards for Your Pets

We hope that the holidays are filled with nothing but love and happiness for you and your pets. Just remember that it is also a busy time and to pay special attention to your beloved dogs and cats with these extra hazards in your home. If you are concerned your pet has been exposed to any of these hazards please contact us or your local emergency clinic immediately.


The severity of chocolate toxicity depends on the size of the pet and the quantity and type of chocolate ingested (dark and baking chocolates are more toxic than milk chocolate).

Grapes & Raisins
Some dogs tend to be more sensitive to the toxic effects of grapes and raisins and even a smaller amount can cause a problem leading to kidney failure.

Consumer of meats that contain excess fat can cause pancreatitis in some pets- a severe medical condition. Bones also have the potential to cause choking, intestinal obstruction or perforation if ingested.

Xylitol is a sweetener found in many sugar-free gums and candies. It can cause a life-threatening decrease in blood sugar and liver failure if ingested.

Most nuts are not necessarily toxic to dogs, but moldy nuts can contain harmful mycotoxins. Macadamia nuts and black walnuts are specifically toxic to dogs.


While many people think poinsettias are the most dangerous holiday plant for our pets, they are actually only mildly toxic. Dog and cats may develop an upset stomach or drooling due to oral irritation, but ingestion rarely requires any medical attention.

Lilies on the hand, are one of the most dangerous flowers for our furry friends as ingestion of even a small amount can lead to kidney failure in cats! It is therefore recommended to avoid having these flowers in your home all year long.

Ingestion of holly leaves and berries can lead to gastrointestinal upset. The prickly nature of the leaves can also cause mechanical irritation to the oral cavity and esophagus.

Ingestion of mistletoe can cause intestinal upset and potentially severe cardiovascular problems if a large amount is consumed.

Christmas Tree
Pine needles can be toxic to a pet if ingested. Bacteria, mold and chemicals found in Christmas tree stands can cause illness even if small amounts are consumed.


Tinsel and Ribbon
Tinsel, ribbon and other string-like materials can lead to serious complications including choking and intestinal obstruction if swallowed.

Ornaments can also cause choking or intestinal obstruction if ingested. If your pet eats a sharp or broken piece of an ornament or other decoration, it can cut the lining of their mouth, esophagus or intestine, leading to potentially serious complications.

Snow Globes and Bubble Lights
Exposure to the liquid inside these popular decorations can cause gastrointestinal upset and lethargy as well as skin an ocular irritation. Some snow globes may also contain antifreeze, which can be very toxic to dogs and cats if ingested.

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