Dog Dressed for Christams Bah Humbug! The Holidays Can Be Dangerous For Your Pets!

Did you know that holiday decorations can be deadly for our four-legged family members? I hate to sound like the grumpy Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but I really do want to help you avoid the pet calamities of the holidays so your whole family can have a grand old time and stay sane and safe at the same time.

Decorations & Gifts Pose Hazards for Pets

Tinsel and ribbon can actually kill a cat if she swallows them; a puppy can get electrocuted (and burn your house down!) if he chews unprotected electric wires for holiday lights and decorations. And what about that lovely Christmas tree, covered in all those sparkly enticements? All it takes is a cat batting at the decorations or a dog pulling or jumping on a tree for it to come crashing down. And then there are all those wrapped packages under the tree, which if you don’t keep the tree safe and off limits, a young dog would delight in opening those wrapped boxes for you — because who knows what he might find inside the packages? How about yummy chocolates? Not everybody knows how dangerous chocolate is for a dog — and that the higher the quality of chocolate, the greater the cacao content and the more dangerous it is for them.

Are you aware that your sweet alcoholic holiday beverages can be appealing to pets when they discover them on the coffee table — but you’ll end up with them in the animal ER? What about mistletoe and holly? They might make for a lovely holiday song, but they are a couple of the holiday plants that are poisonous for dogs and cats (poinsettias are another)!

And then there’s the cold weather itself for people in the Northeast — dogs walking on salted sidewalks can get burns if their paws aren’t covered or washed afterward — and older dogs can fall down and have serious injuries on slippery ground, just the way senior people can.

Holiday Stress Can Stress Your Pet

Oh, and let’s not forget the holiday stress that our pets pick up from us — we have too much to do, too many gifts to buy (and money we’re anxious about having to spend), chores to complete and people coming and going. Our pets sense all that and don’t know how to make sense of it! During the holidays, cats have been known to bolt out the door after one guest too many — and some dogs can get nippy if there is too much stress and intensity in their environment and their space is not respected.

My friends at Halo have invited me to give a webinar on pet safety during the holidays — it’s going to be a Dogington University online webinar. Please join me Thursday December 18th at 6PM ET! It’s easy to join my webinar on and let me help your dogs and cats stay safe with a handy checklist I’ll give you of the Pet Pitfalls of holidays and how to avoid them. You need to register to be able to join me, but it’s super easy. Go to I’m eager to give you tips about staying safe with your pets over the holidays — and to answer any questions you might have.

–Tracie Hotchner

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