Holiday Pet Safety

The holidays are times to spend with friends and loved ones, and who could you love more than your pet? So keep your bestie safe during with holidays with these helpful tips:

Valentine’s Day


Chocolate often contain fillings which increase the risk of pancreatitis. Chocolates also contain caffeine and theobromine, which can stimulate their nervous systems and speed up the heart rate. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine and caffeine as well as people can, increasing their sensitivity to the effects of these chemicals. The darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity.  dog weighing 50 pounds would potentially show signs of poisoning by ingesting only 1 ounce of baker’s chocolate, or 9 ounces of milk chocolate. Signs of toxicity include panting or restlessness, diarrhea, excessive urination, increased heart rate and vomiting. Extreme cases my include muscle tremors and heart failure. Learn more about chocolate toxicity on the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine website.


Lilies may cause acute kidney injury in cats. Licking a few pollen grains off its fur while grooming may cause your cat to develop fatal kidney failure in less than 3 days. Early signs of toxicity include decreased activity level, drooling, loss of appetite and vomiting. Kidney failure can occur within 24 hours to 72 hours, leading to death if the cat isn’t treated. Learn more about lily toxicity on the USFDA website.


Three main types of alcohol – ethanol, methanol, and isopropanol – are rapidly absorbed by the digestive tract and through the skin. These chemicals cand damage the organs and impair their ability to function, which may cause organ failure and death. There are various sources of alcohol which you may find throughout your household. Be aware of their dangers to your pet, and take the necessary precautions to safeguard them from possible poisoning. Learn more at the PetMD website.

Kitten with heart toy

July 4th


Fireworks can be very frightening for even the most mellow and self-assured animal, and for nervous pets it can be terrifying. Please be aware of your pets’ sensitivities and prepare accordingly. Learn more about Independence Day Safety on the American Veterinary Medical Association website.


The barbeque smells delicious to both people and pets, but unfortunately pets don’t understand heat and flames. Please be sure to keep your pets clear of the bbq so they can’t jump up/on the grill while in use or still hot. Also, bbq skewers can be very dangerous to hungry pets who may ingest them in part or whole , causing severe intestinal damage.


Too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets, make sure to given them plenty of shade and water. Keep them indoors during extreme heat, limiting extended exposure during hot weather. Be aware of signs of heat stress, including anxiousness, excessive panting/drooling, unsteadiness and collapse. Learn more about warm weather safety.

Dog in front of American flag



Many candies contain chocolate or xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies and gum). These can cause extreme digestive distress. Additionally, raisins may cause kidney failure, and there are many other foods which may be dangerous to your pet. Learn more about Halloween holiday safety on the American Veterinary Medical Association website.


Keep candles, jack-o-lanterns and other decorations out of reach of pets. Wagging tails may knock over candles, cats might find flames entertaining to play with, and decorations might be potential chocking hazards.

Visitors to the home

Trick-or-treaters may cause shy animals stress, or potentially create a dangerous situation for pets who may react defensively towards strangers. Keep animals in a secure part of the house away from the front door, and keep animal identification up-to-date in case they escape through an open door while trick-or-treaters are visiting.

Dog in Halloween costume



Eating turkey or turkey skin can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis. Fatty foods and hard for pets to digest, if you want to give your pet a Thanksgiving treat, get them something made specifically for animals. Learn more about Independence Day Safety on the American Veterinary Medical Association website.


A turkey carcass left out in on the table, in a trash container indoors or outside, or even in a truck ready to go to the dump (trust us, it’s happened) can be a life-threatening hazard to hungry and resourceful animals looking for a snack. Eating excessive amounts of turkey or ingesting bones can cause major intestinal trauma, leading to injury or death. Be sure to secure all trash to prevent animals from dumpster diving your tasty trash treats.

Cat playing with gourds


Keep your pets safe during the holidays with tips from the website.


Curious cats like to swat at flames and may burn their paws, and dog tails have no sense of danger. Keep pets away to avoid burns and accidental fires.

Christmas Ornaments/Dreidels

These items can be dangerous if your pet chews or eats them, creating possible choking hazards, gastrointestinal foreign body obstruction and death. Keep these items out of reach of pets.

Gelt/Advent Calendars

Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and gold foil wrappers can cause intestinal issues to both cats and dogs if swallowed.

Yeast dough

Weather making challah or homemade bread, yest dough is dangerous to pets. It can cause alcohol toxicity and stomach bloating, which can be life threatening.

Puppy and kitten with present