Pet Holiday Dangers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-The holiday season can be a fun time for decorating the house and cooking holiday meals and treats, but it is also one of the most dangerous times of year for pets.

It was a trip to the vet for 19-week-old mix puppy, Bernadette who decided her owners decorations were a toy.

“We did very well with the Christmas ornaments up until last night. She decided it was going to be really fun to knock the ornaments off the tree and chew them up,” said Owner Jordin Delzer. Holiday pet mishaps can happen to anyone. Delzer is also a Vet Technician for All City Pet Care. She got X-rays done to make sure everything is okay with Bernadette.

Eating a foreign object is one of the most common reasons pets visit the vet during the holidays. Sometimes that can even mean surgery.

It’s one of the busiest times of the year for All City Pet Care Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Sioux Falls.

“Dogs and cats get into everything and so we see a lot of people coming in through our ER and through just our normal daily practice with issues and wondering what they can and can’t have out and you know is it healthy for dogs to eat things off their plate and things like that. So we definitely get busy, lots of questions, lots of phone calls, lots of appointments,” said Ellie Van Hull, an All City Pet Care Vet Technician.

To keep your pets safe, vet technicians advise people to keep decorations out of reach of pets, such as putting ornaments higher up on your tree.

“With cats we worry about Poinsettias, they are really toxic to them. We also worry about the Christmas tree. The balls are really fun to play with and the lights too, being plugged in, if they chew on them they can electrocute themselves,” said Van Hull.

If you have a real tree, be careful that your dog doesn’t eat the sharp pine needles. A pet recently died because it ate a pine needle. They should also avoid drinking the tree water as it can upset their stomach.

Also avoid giving them table scraps and making sure all trashes are sealed. If your baking keep them away from chocolate. It can be toxic to pets.

“It becomes pretty serious, so we definitely tell people, don’t be afraid to contact your veterinarian. You know, it’s never too early to let them know ‘hey my kid got into this and I’m concerned about this,’” said Van Hull.

That way you and your pet can both can enjoy the holidays together.


Here are the top five most common Christmas dangers for pets, according to Pet MD:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Alcohol
  3. Grapes
  4. Tinsel
  5. Plants
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