Holiday Foods: Many people like to include their furry friends during the Holidays by giving them a “treat” from their holiday menu. Unfortunately, this can introduce a variety of potential risks to pets. Eating fatty and rich foods can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. In some dogs, the elderly calorie-dense foods can potentially lead to inflammation. Chocolate contains methylxanthine, which can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from stomach upset to tremors, hyperthermia, and seizures. The darker the chocolate the more dangerous it can be. Grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic are also extremely toxic to dogs. Keep your pets safe by having them celebrate with their regular diets.

Festive Plants: Plants and flowers transform any room into a holiday showcase, but also an unforeseen room of danger for curious pets. The usual suspects, poinsettias and American mistletoe, have been considered potentially toxic to pets. Lilies pose a significant risk to cats, these flowers are beautiful in any holiday flower arrangement, but parts of the plant are toxic to cats.  Ingesting even a small amount of the leaves, petals or even pollen can result in severe illness and possibly death. Stay clear of these beauties if you have a feline friend.

Ribbon: If your dog or cat loves to help you wrap the presents or loves to un-wrap their own present, make sure they don’t run off with the ribbon. These colorful strands can wreak havoc if ingested. Once ingested, the intestines can bunch up on the ribbon in an attempt to pass it. If you should happen to see part of the ribbon “exiting” from the hind end, never pull it out! Absolutely, consult with your veterinarian to aid in its removal, whether it’s through endoscopy, surgically or manually.

Christmas Tree: The Christmas tree is the centerpiece of many holiday homes. However, if you have a cat you may want to lay off the tinsel as it poses the same threat as ribbon does. Electrical cords from the Christmas lights, as well as other holiday decorations, can be an enticing chew toy for a pup or cat, but can lead to severe mouth burns. Take measures to prevent your pet from encountering electrical temptations. Many trees are also fitted with water containers to keep them fresh. This water could contain fertilizer or become stagnant over time. Prevent your pet from drinking from the tree to avoid potential complications.