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Holiday Hazards for Cats and Dogs

December 01, 2016

The holidays are here! Keep in mind that this can be a troublesome time of year for our dogs and cats—there are many things out there that can cause them harm. Here, your Covington, GA veterinarian tells you how to keep your four-legged friend safe and sound as the holiday season continues.

Ornaments and Decorations

To many pets, shiny tinsel strands and sparkling tree ornaments look like enticing toys. Of course, you don’t want Fido or Fluffy ingesting these items. Either put them high enough on the tree that pets can’t reach, or leave them off entirely. Also be sure to tape down electrical wires and holiday lights within your pet’s reach so that they don’t have a chance to chew on them or get tangled.

Another decorative hazard is the stagnant water in your tree’s base—this is a breeding ground for bacteria and other contaminants, so make sure there isn’t enough space for your pet to get at the tree’s anchor area.

Holiday Plants

The toxic properties of poinsettias may be a bit overblown; even if your pet ingests some of the poinsettia plant, mild indigestion or irritation in the mouth is all that’s likely to result. Still, it’s not worth taking a chance! Holly and mistletoe, also very common this time of year, can prove toxic to pets as well. Take steps to restrict your pet’s access to any and all holiday plants.

Dangerous Foods

Plenty of foods on your holiday dinner table aren’t safe for pets. The list includes garlic, onions, chives, shallots, leeks, scallions, chocolate, candy, salty foods, fatty items, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, and more. To be safe, keep your dog or cat elsewhere during meal preparation and dinnertime. Let your guests know ahead of time that your pet shouldn’t receive any table scraps without your express permission.


If your holiday celebrations will include alcoholic beverages, keep a close eye on all drinks to make sure your pet doesn’t have a chance to take a sip. Alcohol can easily poison pets, as they respond to it just like we do. This goes for liquor, wine, beer, champagne, and even certain foods made with alcohol—never let your animal companion consume alcohol of any kind.

Would you like more tips on keeping your pet safe during the holiday season? We’re here to help! Give your vet in Covington, GA a call today.

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