Things You Didn’t
Know Could Harm Your Pet
Presented by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
pets enjoy the holidays safely by keeping them away from
potential problems on these special days.
Alcohol – Alcoholic beverages are
toxic to pets and should NEVER be given to them during the
holidays or any other time.
Flowers and candy – Many types of
flowers and plants found in bouquets are harmful to dogs and
cats if they are ingested (see our list of hazardous plants).
Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal
heart rhythm, tremors and seizures, and, in severe cases,
chocolate poisoning can be fatal.
Fake grass – This colorful “grass” may
look appetizing to your pets, but it could cause them to choke
or obstruct their intestines if ingested.
Small toys and other plastic items –
If swallowed, small toys and plastic Easter eggs can cause your
pet to choke or even damage their intestinal tracts.
4th of July
Fireworks – Fireworks can scare your
pets making them run off, or cause serious injuries if detonated
near them. Many formulations are also toxic if ingested.
Repeatedly opening doors to greet
trick-or-treaters can increase the chances of your pets running
out. Keep an eye on their whereabouts at all times. If
feasible, keep cats in a secure area or closed room when opening
Candles – Pets are naturally curious,
and may be attracted to the bright lights of the flame in dark
areas. Dogs and cats could either burn themselves by the flame
or knock the candle over, starting a fire.
Xylitol – Candy or gum sweetened with
xylitol is toxic and should be kept away from your pet.
All forms of chocolate can be harmful
to your pet, potentially resulting in poisoning or even
pancreatic inflammation from the high fat content.
Bones – Turkey, chicken, and other
small animal bones are very different from the large bones you
find at the pet store. These small bones splinter easily and
can cause serious internal damage if swallowed, so NEVER give
them to your pet.
Hot containers – Your dog or cat will
most likely become curious when they smell something cooking.
Keep an eye on hot containers so that your pet does not tip then
over and get burned.
Holiday plants – Christmas rose,
Holly, Lilies and Mistletoe are all toxic to dogs and cats.
Ribbons – It may look adorable, but
placing a ribbon around your pet’s neck may cause them to choke.
Bubbling lights – Older forms of this
attractive decoration may contain methylene chloride, which is a
highly toxic chemical.
Fire salts – Contain chemicals that
could be harmful to pets.
Angel hair (spun glass) – Can be
irritating to eyes and skin, and could cause intestinal
obstruction if eaten in large amounts.
Christmas tree water – Stagnant tree
water or water containing preservatives could result in stomach
upset if ingested.
Decoration hooks – Can cause blockage
and/or trauma to gastrointestinal tract if swallowed.
Styrofoam – Can cause your pets to
choke if swallowed.
Ornaments – These can look like toys
to cats and dogs, but they can cause serious injury, especially
if your pets break or swallow them.
Tinsel – Can cause choking or internal
trauma if swallowed.
Balloons and Confetti – These fun New
Year’s party decorations can cause your pets to choke or
obstruct their intestines if ingested. Keep an eye on your pets
when they’re around these items or move them to an area that is
Loud noises – New Year’s is typically
a noisy holiday. Unfortunately, loud noises frighten pets and
can cause them to run off. Keep your pets in a separate room,
away from noisemakers, music, and other loud sounds that may