The holiday season is in full swing! The festivities that are exciting for people can be stressful and sometimes even hazardous for our pets. Whether it’s the gift wrapping, decorations, tree lights, softly glowing candles, decorative plants, a cozy warm fireplace or the festive holiday foods, consider this information for keeping your pets safe and secure while you celebrate.

The most common problem with the Christmas traditions is the tree! Kittens and puppies are fascinated, so secure your tree in case of adventurous climbers. Avoid lights or garland at the bottom of the tree. Hide or disguise electric cords to avoid your pets from being shocked or burned. Cover the tree’s water container because some of the preservative ingredients may be dangerous even if the bottle says “non-toxic.” Pine needles, pitch, holly, poinsettias, mistletoe and lilies are also dangerous. 

With decorating, glass ornaments can be problematic when broken. Small items, hooks and tinsel are choking hazards. Gifts under the tree are also attractive to pets, especially cats! Avoid ribbons and yarns. They can cause intestinal obstructions if swallowed and require abdominal surgery.

With the treats and good food that come with the season, remember that our food can be dangerous for our pets. Keep candy, especially chocolate, away from pets. Make sure that food cannot be eaten by your pets. A little sliver of lean meat is OK but don’t overdo it. Remember, no bones, skin or fat!!  


A final thought. While kittens or puppies may seem like great gifts for kids, ask the parents first and consider that the holidays can be a chaotic time for families and an overwhelming time for your new pet. 

Dr. Ann co-owns Paso Petcare Veterinary Hospital next to the Post Office in Paso Robles. Visit Call 805-238-1091.