Holiday Pet Safety: Keep Your Furry Friends Out of the Veterinarian’s Office

holiday mt carmel animal hospital

Keep your pets safe from decorations, food, and anxiety this holiday season by keeping them comfortable and happy.

Holidays are full of decorations and food that brighten your home but can be dangerous for your pets. In this blog, we will discuss how to keep your pets safe from the items in your home that bring out the holiday spirit. 

Holiday Decorations

Typical holiday decorations like garland and lights can cause serious issues around pets. If your pet likes to chew on things, be sure to keep decorations high up and out of your pet’s reach. Poinsettias are a Christmas staple but are poisonous to pets. Poinsettia toxicity happens when a cat or dog ingests poinsettia. Symptoms are typically mild, but can include vomiting and irritation to the mouth and stomach. 

Keep Your Tree and Pets Safe

The Christmas tree is an iconic piece of the holiday. To ensure the tree stays safe and so do your pets, double-check the tree is anchored. Additionally, keep the water bowl covered to ensure no pets drink from the water the tree is in. That water contains tree sap that could upset your pet’s stomach. Cats are notorious for messing with Christmas trees when they are up and running. All those shining lights and twinkling ornaments can be very tempting for your feline friend. Monitor your cat around the tree and ensure any glass ornaments are out of reach or not present at all. Keep the tinsel up high as well. Ingesting any of those decoration can lead to serious problems for your pet that may require surgery.

What About Food?

Many families build gingerbread houses as a group activity. Gingerbread and other holiday snacks may not sit well with your pet. Avoid an upset stomach by keeping your pets separate from any food-related activities. Other harmful foods are rich, fat-heavy foods like turkey skin and mashed potatoes. A small amount of plain turkey meat can be safe, but avoid large quantities of any human food or anything too high in fat. You also don’t want to give your dog any bones as they can cause irritation in the GI tract and present a choking hazard.


The holiday season is full of excitement for everyone, including your pets. Not all of the excitement can be good, though. If your pet has a history of anxiety, make sure things are comforting for them. If you are having company over and your dog or cat becomes stressed in large groups, offer them their own separate space in a quiet room that guests won’t go in. Give them their favorite toys (or maybe a new fun one they got for Christmas) to play with. If your pet is especially stressful, you can try using a Thundershirt or call to speak with one of our veterinarians about prescribing anxiety medication. Keep your pets safe from decorations, food, and anxiety this holiday season by keeping them comfortable and happy. 

Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!

Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 18th, 2021 at 5:57 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.