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Have a Pet-Safe Holiday Season

Make sure that everyone gets to enjoy the holiday season by keeping the four-legged members of your family safe this December. It’s easy to get distracted at this time of year, so if you have pets, try to keep these ideas in mind:

  • Avoid tinsel and clean up strings and ribbon right away. Swallowed decorations can seriously damage internal organs, leading to a painful and dangerous situation.
  • Display and dispose of holiday plants safely. Poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses, leading to bad gastrointestinal upset if eaten.
  • Be careful with pet treats. Your lucky dog probably loves his biscuits, rawhides, or jerky sticks, but if he eats them whole - or too many at once - he may not be able to digest them. Unchewed treats can get stuck in the windpipe or gastrointestinal tract.
  • Human food. Don’t feed your cat or dog people food. Food with bones (choking), chocolate, or xylitol (both toxic) can hurt your pet right away. Fatty holiday people foods can cause the painful and life-threatening disease pancreatitis in the long term.

Learn more about keeping your pet holiday-safe with this publication from the Food and Drug Administration.