Christmas is just around the corner and along with the excitement and fun of the holidays it can be a hazardous time for our pets.


The top ten holiday hazards are;


  1. Chocolate! –  As yummy as it is for us and likely as yummy as it is four your pet do it can be extremely dangerous for your pet. At Christmas time there are a lot more opportunities for pets to find chocolate, not only in candies but baking as well.
  2. Alcohol – It’s highly unlikely any of your household guests would dare to give Fido or Fluffy a sip of their alcoholic drink, but they may not think twice about a piece of rum cake. Or your pet may just find the drink “laying around” and help themselves. Pets may also inadvertently become poisoned if they eat any unbaked bread dough. The stomach basically acts as an artificial oven that metabolizes the yeast from the unbaked dough into ethanol and carbon dioxide. This can cause the animal to bloat from the excess carbon dioxide and suffer from alcohol poisoning from the ethanol.
  3. Grapes and Raisins – Grapes and their dried cousins, raisins, are another common hazards for pets during the holidays. Even any candied raisins found in fruit cake or grapes found on appetizer platters could spell bad news for your pet.
  4. Medications – During any other time of the year you may have your house absolutely pet proofed, but when guests come to visit during the holidays they may not be pet savvy and leave their medication within reach of your pet.
  5. Tinsel – Tinsel is thin and sharp and can easily wrap itself around the intestines or ball up in the stomach once ingested.
  6. Xylitol – No it isn’t some foreign ingredient, it is a very common sweetener in a variety of common everyday foods.   When ingested by pets, xylitol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure
  7. Plants –  Kiss me under the mistletoe but don’t let Fluffy or Fido anywhere near it!  Love the look of holly in your home at Christmas? Unfortunately, these are two of the more toxic holiday plants to pets, causing severe gastrointestinal disorders, breathing difficulty, even heart failure in extreme cases
  8. liquid potpourri – Much like regular potpourri, liquid potpourri can freshen up any room. However this concentrated fragrance, which is typically simmered in a pot and then placed in a bottle for later use, can cause severe damage to your pet if ingested.
  9. Holiday Ornaments – Although not poisonous, many ornaments have sharp edges that can cause perforations and lacerations to pets that try to chew on the decorations.
  10. Electrical cords – With Christmas, comes Christmas lights and with Christmas lights comes extra cords! . Curious puppies and kittens are especially intrigued by the exposed wiring and are the most in danger of the burns or fluid accumulation in the lungs associated with electrical shocks.


As you can see there are many dangerous lurking around at the holidays. All it takes to stay safe is a little common sense and a lot of planning. Knowing what to do if an emergency does occur is a great asset, make sure to keep your veterinarians contact number in a handy place! Avoid these things and plan ahead so you and your pets can enjoy a safe and happy holidays!


Merry Christmas!
Melissa Topham, RVT
Operations Manager
Swift Current SPCA
P.O. Box 1163 Stn Main Swift Current SK,S9H 3X3
Phone: (306)-773-1806 Fax : (306)- 773-2035