of the more common holiday hazards include:
Bones: The holiday turkey or chicken will leave a lot of tantalizing
bones, but don't feed them to your pet. Beware of steak bones, too. Small
bones or bone chips can lodge in the throat, stomach, and intestinal track.
Fat: Gravies and poultry skin can cause severe gastrointestinal
Holiday Plants: Holly and mistletoe are extremely poisonous when
eaten. The lovely poinsettia may not be truly poisonous, but its milky
white sap and leaves can certainly cause severe gastric distress. With
so many hybrid varieties available each year, the best approach is to keep
the plants out of your pet's reach.
Electrical cords: Holiday lights mean more electrical cords for
kittens and puppies to chew. Be sure you have cords secure and out of the
Candles: Lit candles should never be left unattended and that is
especially important if left at kitty's eye level or within puppy's chewing
zone. An exuberant tail, a swat of a paw around candles and hot wax can
quickly become disastrous. Anchor candles securely and away from curious
faces and feet.
Pine needles: Check around holiday trees frequently. Ingested pine
needles can puncture your pet's intestines if sharp enough.
Holiday tree: Make sure you tree is well secured. If you have a
tree-climbing cat or large dog with a happy tail, anchor the top of the
tree to the wall, using string, cord or rope. Preservatives often used
in the water in a tree stand can cause gastric upsets, so be sure it is
inaccessible or not used. Avoid sugar and aspirin additives in the water
Ornaments: Sharp or breakable ornaments, dreidels, and even aluminum
foil should be kept out of reach. String objects, especially tinsel and
ribbons, are to be safeguarded at all costs. They are thin and sharp and
can wrap around intestines or ball up in the stomach.
Stress and company: With everyone coming and going, watch out for
open doors and sneaky pets. Make sure your pets have collars and tags on
in case of escape. Ask guests to keep an eye out for pets under foot and
remind them that sometimes your normally friendly dog or cat may be less
willing to deal with enthusiastic children and rooms full of unfamiliar
people. Provide a special quiet place with a blanket and fresh water for
your pet to retreat to when the festivities get too stressful.