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Things for Pets to Avoid During Holidays


There are many pet hazards during the holidays. Here are a few you should avoid during the holidays.

Walking your pet: Two commands every pet should know are “No” and “Drop”. Not only should they know it, they should respond to it. Be extra cautious while walking your pets during the holiday season and don’t allow them to eat or lick anything from the sidewalk. Practice teaching your pet these two critical commands. they need to know it for their own safety!

Wearing ID: Make sure your pet has at least two forms of ID at all times. No, I’m not saying they need to walk around with a drivers license, but they should be microchipped and wearing a collar.

Kids: Even your own kids can be scary to a dog during Halloween as the costumes make you look and smell different. So sit on the front porch to head off any trick-or-treaters. Give them the candy before they have a chance to ring your bell. Halloween is doubly scary for our pets, so keep them in a secured room, away from noise, or in a place they consider safe. This may be under the bed, in a crate, or in a den they’ve dug in the backyard. Wherever they are secured and feel safe is best.


Candles: Many fires are accidentally set by animals each year. Avoid candles in your home if you have any type of pet. Many a cat has wandered past a lit candle only to set their tail on fire, eventually setting the rest of the house on fire. The scented candles can be very harmful to birds, the regular candles can be harmful to all of us. There are many alternatives to candles available. Try using some of these:

Garbage and Food: Keep your garbage in a place where pets can’t reach it. This may be a pantry or simply securing the lid.

  • Onion: The sulfoxides and disulfides can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia
  • Garlic: the sulfoxides and disulfides can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia
  • Tomato: Causes amenia
  • Avocado: Contains a toxin known as persin that causes vomiting and diarrhea.  Birds and small pets seem most affected by the negative side effects of consuming avocado.
  • Grapes and Raisins: Causes kidney damage
  • Macadamia Nuts: Causes gastrointestinal upsets, lethargy, vomiting and muscle tremors or stiffness.
  • Mushrooms: Can cause shock and death
  • Tomatoes: Can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in cats, leading to death.
  • Chicken, Pork and other Bones: Can get stuck in the roof of the mouth, throat and intestines, and should be avoided
  • Nuts: A toxin in nuts can have negative effects on the nervous, digestive, and muscular systems.  Symptoms can include muscle tremors, weakness, an upset stomach, vomiting, depression, inactivity, and stiffness.
  • Other Foods to Avoid: Raw potatoes, turkey skin, nutmeg, apple seeds, mustard (and mustard seeds), fruit pits, rhubarb, salt
  • Caffeine: Avoid giving anything with caffeine, including tea.

Alcohol: Alcohol and hops should also be avoided as alcohol poisoning can lead to coma and death.

Candy: When it comes down to it, people shouldn’t really much of this either. But your pet really needs to avoid it. Here’s a chart to show you how fast a dog can die from chocolate and don’t forget the Xylitol cautions!

  • Xylitol: As little as three grams (e.g. about five pieces of gum) can kill a 65 pound dog
  • Chocolate: Can cause gastrointestinal problems, coma, and even death


Costumes: Put the costume on your pet, take a picture, then remove the costume. Dogs aren’t like people who want to be dressed up all night. They don’t like to itch, they don’t like to smell weird, and they don’t want any added stress on an already stressful holiday.

Keep Pets Indoors: Keeping your pets in may well be the most important thing you can do for your pet. Cats have a way of “mysteriously disappearing” during Halloween, particularly white or black cats. Dogs can easily escape a yard – even dogs that normally won’t jump fences – in a misguided attempt to protect their home and owners. Please keep your pets indoors, in a safe, secure environment.

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