The holidays are filled with baubles, bells, bows, and other bling. And each of these items can be just as tempting as the next when it comes to our pets. Decorations, food, gifts, the endless array of good smelling gifts, along with the feast, can prove tempting to even the most well behaved dog or cat. 

Pet emergencies during the holidays are all too common, and most pet owners understand why. Because of the busyness of the season, most people are juggling obligations and pay less attention to what Fido or Fluffy are up to. Couple that with all of the sights, smells, and wonders, and you’re suddenly thinking to yourself, “my pet just ate what!” 

Thankfully, the Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are here to shed light on these risks so you can better protect your pet.

Deck the Halls 

If you are ready to don some lights and decorations, consider what your pet might be prone to eating. Small ornaments, edible ornaments, potpourri, and tinsel all spell trouble. Take care to avoid the following items that are often ingested:

  • Tinsel and popcorn string
  • Small ornaments 
  • Advent calendars (especially with treats inside)
  • Manger displays
  • Edible ornaments
  • Wrapped gifts with unknown contents (could contain toxin food)
  • Ribbon, take, and curling ribbon (especially attractive to cats)
  • Potpourri and incense
  • Gift baskets containing good smelling things
  • Light strings 

Basically, you will want to watch out for: 

  • Things that are edible, but shouldn’t be eaten
  • Things that smell good to your pet
  • Ornaments and decor small enough to fit in pet mouths
  • Decorations that are too small and/or breakable
  • Strings of all sorts

Now that we have you prepared in the holiday decor department, let’s explore food.

The Holiday Spread

Most pets will want to eat just about anything, food-wise, they can get their paws on. Even many cats will try and ingest certain holiday foods. Some of these will pose toxic threats, such as chocolate, alcohol, Xylitol (a sugar substitute), grapes and raisins, and macadamia nuts, but your pet can also be at risk for choking or GI obstruction by eating the following:

  • Bones
  • Foil
  • Poultry string
  • Corn cobs
  • Compost
  • Trash

Remember to discard or put away any leftovers after the big meals and cover up compost and trash bins. 

Help! My Pet Just Ate…

Our team want you to have the merriest of holiday seasons, and that means putting your pet’s safety first. If we can answer any questions about foreign body dangers to pets, please do not hesitate to call. We don’t want you to ever say, “My pet just ate what?!” That is why we hope to alert our pet families to these common dangers.

From all of us, we hope you and your pet have a wonderful holiday season!