The holidays are here and we’re just so excited for more time with our family, furry family members too. Of course, the holidays don’t come without added risks for our pets, and it’s important that we remember that it’s always better safe than sorry. The team at Brodheadsville Veterinary Clinic has some tips on keeping your pets safe this holiday season, and it ranges from dangerous food all the way to candles and plants.

Fire/burn hazards are all around.

Yes, even something an innocent as a wild tail and a large candle can cause issues by knocking it over, or burning your pet as they walk by. It’s not just candles that can cause burns, wires from trees, decorations, and additional home goods with more people in the house may look like something fun to play with but could deliver a potentially deadly shock to your pet. Prevent your pet from chewing a toy with a battery in it—punctured batteries can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.

Choking hazards are plenty.

Ornaments, bones, toys, and more stuff in the house than usual may look like a lot of fun to your pet, but broken-off pieces can cause real issues to your pet’s health. As much as we love our digital x-ray equipment, we don’t want to have to use it to find a GI Joe in your dog’s stomach! Cats love tinsel, but tinsel does not love cats. Swallowing tinsel and other stringy items, like yarn and ribbon, can lead to a bowel obstruction, vomiting, dehydration, and even death.

Toxic substances – plants and foods alike!

Holly mistletoe and poinsettias bring a holiday spirit to your home, but they can also cause serious issues with your pet’s body, like gastrointestinal upset, cardiovascular problems and many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. It’s not just the plants, Christmas tree water could contain fertilizers and bacteria that can cause nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea if ingested. It’s always a good reminder that chocolate, artificial sweeteners (like xylitol), fatty or spicy foods, alcohol, grapes, and other human foods can, at best, cause an upset stomach, and, at worst, be fatal, if pets consume them. Keep the human food on the human table, and give your pets some special animal-friendly holiday treats instead.


Holidays can be loud and unexpected for your pets. During Christmas, and all holidays, create a safe and relaxing space for your pets to get away from the noise of holiday gatherings. You can also use calming pheromone products, like Adaptil (for dogs) and Feliway (for cats) to mitigate anxiety. These products are available as plug-in diffusers, collars, or sprays.

If you have any questions about keeping your pet safe during the holidays, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Brodheadsville Veterinary Clinic team! We’re here to help!

Have questions? Need to make an appointment?

The Brodheadsville Veterinary Clinic team is here to help!