Left Chevron
 FDA Alerts
December 8, 2023

Keep Your Dogs and Cats Safe from Holiday Hazards

Download This Safety Alert

The holidays may not be so happy if someone in your family gets sick – that includes your pets. The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Centers for Veterinary Medicine recently released a short video called: Holiday Hazards for Pets: 8 Safety Tips from Our Pets to Yours. The tips are important for pet owners to consider when decorating and planning family gatherings for the holidays. Below is a short summary of each of the safety tips.

  1. Limit stocking stuffers. Don’t give your dog a stocking full of treats all at once. If they eat them too fast, they may not chew them as well. Larger pieces may get stuck in their throat. Only give your dog one treat at a time.
  2. Don’t let your pets eat salt dough. Salt dough is used to make homemade ornaments and is a fun family activity. However, the salt in the dough can poison your pet.
  3. Keep tinsel and ribbon away from pets. Cats and dogs like shiny tinsel and ribbon or strings. When they play with these objects, they may try to eat them. Tinsel, ribbon, and string can hurt their stomach since it cannot be digested.
  4. Keep holly, poinsettias, and mistletoe out of reach. These plants are harmful to cats and dogs. They should be put where your pets cannot reach them.
  5. Don’t give your pet table scraps. It is very tempting to give your pet table scraps such as turkey skin or the fatty rind from a ham. The high fat content can hurt your cat or dog’s pancreas. Make sure they cannot get to trash that has the turkey carcass. Pets, especially dogs, are known for getting into trash. The small bones from the carcass can damage their insides.
  6. Don’t give your pet chocolate or alcohol. Pets should not be given chocolate or alcohol. Chocolate, including unsweetened or baking chocolate, can cause liver failure. Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing which can sometimes lead to coma and death.
  7. Don’t give other human treats to your pets. Similar to chocolate or alcohol, other human treats, such as mints, chewing gum, or baked goods, should not be given to your pets. These treats may contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be deadly to dogs. Xylitol is also found in some nut butters and toothpaste! So, keep your dogs away!
  8. Don’t leave snack bags/containers open. Pets may stick their noses in these open packages to get at the treats. However, some may get their heads stuck and not be able to breathe.

Here's what you can do: Keep your pets safe during the holidays by doing the following:

  • Keep tinsel, ribbons, holly, poinsettias, and mistletoe out of reach or do not have them in the house.
  • When unwrapping presents, keep an eye on your pets or keep them in another room. Clean up the area as soon as possible.
  • During meals, consider keeping your pets in another room. Instruct guests not to give your pets human food.
  • Secure trash by keeping it in a lidded container.

And most importantly, have a happy holiday season!

Published December 8, 2023

Please visit the following link for more information: 
Keep Your Dogs and Cats Safe from Holiday Hazards