Wet Nose Wednesday!

With Christmas right around the corner, it is important to take holiday hazards into consideration to ensure the safety of our furry family members. This might be the season to give, but beware of what is given to your pets.

This list ranks 10 of the top holiday hazards from harmful to absolutely deathly. All of these should be taken into consideration and were added to this list for awareness and caution. Please protect your pets!

If your pet consumes any of the following and it causes reason for concern, please contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers on their 24/7 hotline at (800) 222-1222.

10 Holiday Hazards for Pets

(and safe alternatives)



10. Christmas Trees

Alternative: Fake Trees, Plastic Lids (to cover tree water), Fences

Christmas trees are mildly toxic for pets. Pine needles can cause sickness such as vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, and lethargy. Also, the sap is poisonous and will leak out into the base water. If a pet consumes this water they can get sick! Guess that’s good for the fake tree business.

9. The Poinsettia Plant

Alternative: Fake Poinsettia Plants, DIY Crafts, Red Roses

It is an urban legend that this plant will kill your pets; however, if the sap is consumed it can make them very sick.

8. Mistletoe

Alternative: Christmas Cactus, Autumn Olive, Fake Mistletoe

Fun fact: mistletoe is a parasitic plant. This is a very common plant to have around Christmas time because it signifies love and kisses. Unfortunately, it is very toxic to pets and when consumed.

7. Alcohol & Chocolate

Alternative: Goat Milk, Plain Yogurt, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin Puree

Alcohol and chocolate are very dangerous when consumed by pets. After a few drinks, it may seem like a good idea to let your pet have a few licks themselves, but this is dangerous! Also, chocolate is the most well known toxic foods for pets. We put these together on our hazard list because the results are quite similar.

6. Holiday Tinsel & Ornaments

Alternative: Plastic Ornaments, Glittery Ornaments on a stick

This one is particularly dangerous for kitties. These holiday hazards are not poisonous, but they can cause harm to your pets when consumed. Tinsel can get trapped in the intestines of your pet and could ultimately cause death.

Also, shiny glass ornaments could fall and break which could be a concern when ingested.

5. Holiday Lights and Plug-ins

Alternative: Battery-Operated LED Lights

Chewers beware! Check cords frequently to make sure that your furry friend isn’t chewing them. If this behavior goes unnoticed, their lifetime might get down to the wire. (See what I did there?)

4. Apple Seeds

Alternative: Apple Pieces (without seeds), Blueberries, Carrots

Here’s the thing: dogs can have apples. They are actually good for them! Often times apples are incorporated into dog treats, snacks and even food so what’s the problem? Apple seeds contain cyanide which is a poison and can be detrimental to your pets.

3. Fat Trimmings and Bones

Alternative: Pig Ears, Bully Sticks

Cooked or uncooked fat trimmings and bones from holiday human foods are SUPER HAZARDOUS TO PETS. Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis. Also, most bones found in meat that humans consume splinter and this could absolutely destroy a pet’s internal organs. So this is a no go this holiday season.

2. Macadamia Nuts & Moldy Walnuts

Alternative: Plain Peanut Butter

Most nuts are unsafe to give to pets. These particular nuts are the most dangerous to give to pets. They can cause vomiting, neurological issues and seizures. Please avoid these at all costs this Christmas.

The Most Hazardous & Controversial Goes To:

1. Rawhide

Alternative: Bully Sticks, Cod Sticks, Bully Horns, Hooves, Knee Caps, Chicken Feet, Sliced Antlers, Bully Twists, Pig Ears, Natural Digestible Chews

You guessed it! Rawhide is sold everywhere and is mainly tailored for dogs. This is a controversial hazard because it is commonly given to them as a treat for years. One of the reasons this is harmful to dogs because it can cause serious blockages that can be life-threatening. Also, the ingredients and manufacturing process is a topic for concern amongst many dog activists that claim rawhide is a by-product of the leather industry and not the meat  industry. Other ingredients may include glue and bleach in order to create an aesthetically pleasing form.



Here are some opinions about rawhide from local dog owners:


“Rawhide is non digestible so if they swallow a huge piece that they can’t pass, hello surgery!” – Taylor (Professional dog groomer, dog show enthusiast, healthy dog life activist)


“Well, they shut him and up and he likes to play with them. He loves a new one and he eats worse things outside.” –Sean (Current Dog Owner)


“No bueno, unfortunately. We suggest a Nylabone (which they don’t eat, but some of them are flavored), Milk-bone, Pup-eroni and Bully Sticks.” – Claire (Director for Animal Welfare)


“We had dogs. We put Panda down in 86′ but she got rawhides. Benji got some rawhide, but his teeth turned black so I stopped giving it to him. He liked white socks. We’d tie a knot in that and he’d chew on it. I think it depends on the dog and the dog’s teeth.” – Claxton (Previous Dog Owner)


“I’m just bummed that all the cute treats are rawhide. I just want to buy them because they fulfill my Christmas aesthetics.” – Katlin (Professional Dog Snuggler)




If your pet consumes any of these please contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers on their 24/7 hotline at (800) 222-1222.