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Pet safety at Christmas: Three holiday dangers lurking in your home

Pet safety at Christmas. A dog enjoys Christmas with his owners
(Image credit: Getty)

Pet safety at Christmas may not sound like a big deal but when you’ve got decorations, festive food, and toxic seasonal plants to contend with, it turns into a different ball game entirely. 

Christmas food

It’s widely known that chocolate can be toxic for dogs as well as cats, but since this festive time is often centred around indulgence, there’s a lot more of it that you need to be keeping an eye on. 

To make sure that your four-legged friends can’t get their paws on any of these toxic treats, avoid hanging them on the tree or placing them underneath, as the temptation to investigate may be too great for them to resist. 

Sadly though, chocolate isn’t the only dangerous food for pets. The list also includes Christmas pudding, mince pies, grapes, dried vine fruits, onions, garlic, and some nuts. So be sure to keep them all away from your pesky pets.

Christmas decorations

What is Christmas without the decorations to make your home truly sparkle? From artificial Christmas trees and tinsel to the plastic or glass decorations, all of these sadly pose a huge risk to both canines and felines alike. For cats, they’re also super intriguing things to climb and play with. Check out this article for top tips on how to cat proof your christmas tree

Other things to keep away from your precious pets are decorative candles, potpourri, and wrapping paper, all of which can cause choking or intestinal blockages if eaten. 

Christmas plants

Christmas is a time for decorating the home with holly, ivy, and mistletoe, and buying a beautiful poinsettia for your festive table centrepiece. However, some of these plants can cause irritation to your pet’s mouth and stomach leading to the overproduction of saliva and potential vomiting if chewed or ingested. It’s not just poinsettias so be sure to be aware of which houseplants hold hidden dangers for your moggy.

Although it may not be possible to keep all of these things away from your pets during Christmas, it’s important to be wary of any behavioural changes as this may be a sign that they’ve gotten their paws on something they shouldn’t have. If you are concerned about your pets welfare, you must contact your vet immediately. 

Chloe Petrylak

Chloe is a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, who has more than eight years experience in media. With a passion for creating content all about wildlife and the environment, she can be found at or @ChloeMayWrites on social media.