The year end holidays are a joyous time. Let’s not ruin them with a trip to the vet! We’ve assembled a few tips to keep in mind while your decorating and dining to keep your dog (and cat!) safe this season.



The soft glow of candle light adds warmth to holiday gatherings. It also occasionally adds fire to houses as well. Dogs and cats don’t know this though and may bump candles or the furniture they are on, knocking them over and causing an emergency.

Pets may also try to play with the flickering flames which will lead to burns and other injuries. We suggest using safe, battery powered candles. The realistic, flickering light will add ambiance to your holiday table but they won’t ruin your life if Fido accidentally pulls the table cloth.


Tinsel and Ribbon

Glistening tinsel and curly cue ribbons decorate the tree and the presents below but they pose a risk to cats and dogs. Both are fun to play with but are easy to swallow. Once consumed these materials can cause digestive tract discomfort or even death in dogs and cats.

We suggest you avoid these items all together but if you feel like you can’t live without it, keep your veterinarian’s number on hand and contact them immediately if you suspect your pet might have ingested this decoration.

And…while we realize this is kind of icky…if you see ribbon or tinsel hanging from your dogs butt – don’t pull it! It may cause internal injury. Contact your vet for assistance.


Holiday Foods

Everyone knows the highlight of the holidays is big meals, snacks and sweets shared with family. But let’s not share some of these items with the dog. Chocolates can cause diarrhea, vomiting and death due to caffeine and methylxanthine content. The general rule is the richer the chocolate the more dangerous it is. If you find your dog has gotten into that tray of fudge you were saving for guests call your vet or you may call the ASPCA’s poison control at (888) 426-4435. (Be aware they do charge a consultation fee for this call.)

Other items you’ll want to keep out away from your dog? Bones and fat trimmings. Both are chocking hazards, can caught defective issues and fat trimmings can lead to pancreatitis.

Almonds, moldy walnuts, pistachios and especially macadamia nuts have a range of toxic effects on dogs. And believe it or not, grapes and raisins are not good for your pup.

But the slice of turkey your dog has been eyeing all day? It is Christmas after all.


Holiday Plants

Many of you already know that poinsettias are extremely poisonous for both dogs and cats. Luckily, they taste pretty bad, but then your dog enjoys the smell of you gym shoes so it’s best not to risk it.

Keep in mind also that pine needles, mistletoe and holly are also toxic when ingested. If you must have them, place them out of your pup’s reach!

Have a safe and happy holiday season!