Pet Holiday Hazards to Avoid This Season

Safety Tips To Ensure a ‘Merry Christmas’ For All
Pet Holiday Hazards

Be sure to keep the four-legged members of your family safe with these tips on pet holiday hazards. Photo: Michael Pettigrew / Shutterstock.

Believe it or not, another holiday season is upon us. However you choose to celebrate, make sure your pets stay safe as we speed into the new year.

O Christmas Tree

If you’re putting up a tree, make sure you secure it. If you have a live tree, wrap the water tray so pets can’t drink from it. Stagnant water can be a breeding ground for bacteria and cause stomach upset. Place tinsel on high branches or skip it altogether. Cats love playing with tinsel, but it can cause digestive issues if eaten. The ASPCA suggests placing all keepsake and breakable ornaments out of paws’ reach and keeping wires off the floor, especially if you have pets that like to chew. Finally, don’t put edible decorations on your tree. Dogs will sniff out candy canes, cookies and the like and pull them down.

Hung by the Chimney with Care

If your pet has his or her own stocking to open Christmas morning, skip wrapping paper, ribbons and bows that may accidentally be ingested. Select chew toys as gifts, fill a Kong with special treats (this will also help occupy your pet while the festivities are happening) and avoid toys with loose parts that can be swallowed.

Candle Lighting

Always keep pets away from the menorah and other lit candles. If you let your candles burn down each evening, be sure you know where the cats are. Cats love flickering lights and can be up on the table in an instant.

Dreidel, Dreidel…

If your festivities include games with dreidels, make sure to pick them up after playtime so they don’t end up as  hazardous chew toys.

Winter Plants

Thanks to for providing the following list of winter blooming plants that can be hazardous to pets: Amaryllis, Daffodils, Holly, Lilies & Mistletoe.

Poinsettias are often assumed to be toxic, but your pet would have to eat a large amount of the plant in order for it to be in danger. The unpleasant taste of the leaves makes that highly unlikely.

Counting Down to 2017

Leftover cocktails and food pose a hazard to pets. Stow any dishes or glasses out of reach before heading off to bed so pets can’t get into them.

Poppers can be frightening to dogs and a choking hazard to cats (as well as small children). Better to skip them, or keep animals in another part of the house when the countdown begins. Finally, if you live in an area where fireworks ring in the New Year, keep pets safe and cozy inside. For pets with a severe noise aversion, Thundershirts may be helpful (designed to help canines get through thunderstorms), or talk to your vet about melatonin.

Save a Life – Adopt Here:

East County Animal Shelter
4595 Gleason Drive, Dublin, CA 94568
Hours: 7 Days per week: 11:30am-5:30pm
Adoption paperwork must be completed by 5:15pm

Contra Costa Animal Services
4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez, CA  94553
Hours: Tues – Sat, 10am-5pm • Wed, 10am-7pm
Sundays: Volunteer Adoption Event, 12-3pm