Holiday Hazards Harmful to Pets

posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 in From the Mailbox of Dr. M

Pet Holiday Hazards

This month, I’m going to give us all a little refresher on different foods and objects that can be dangerous to our companions this time of year. The holidays brings about many great sights, sounds, and not to mention food, it’s also a good time to remind ourselves of the dangers that can be posed to our pets.

Foods Toxic to Animals

Grapes- this fruit is known to cause sudden onset kidney failure, even a very small amount can cause significant damage.

Turkey- Foods high in fats such as this can lead to pancreatitis.

Onion & garlic- Can cause hemolytic anemia, a disease in which the red blood cells are destroyed

Chewing gum- Can cause blockages and xylitol can drastically drop blood sugar levels.

Chocolate (especially dark & bakers type)- Causes an accelerated heart rate & arrhythmias leading to death.

Alcohol- Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system 

depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Bones- from turkey leftovers especially, can cause obstruction or choking hazards.

Holiday Hazards

Ornaments- Broken pieces, or small objects that can be chewed or swallowed can cause blockages or if sharp enough, lacerations to skin, mouth, etc.

Electrical cords- Chewing on cords leads to burns, electric shock, and death.

Tinsel- If swallowed, can bind intestines, or cause linear foreign bodies, especially in cats

Winter Weather Hazards

Antifreeze- This product is very tasty to animals, yet very very deadly. It will cause kidney failure, leading to multi organ failure in a short amount of time.

Ice melt- If you have pets, make sure you purchase the ice melt that is safe for animal’s paws. Certain ice melts can be corrosive to the pads of their feet, leaving larges sores.

Freezing temperatures- For obvious reasons, cold temperatures are deadly to animals that do not have the appropriate shelter to provide a warm dry place, but also remember that fresh unfrozen water needs to be available at all times to animals, even in the winter months!

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas! May you spend it with those who mean the most to you, and remember to appreciate all the little things in life that make up the bigger picture! 


  1. small animal