Beware of Pet Toxins During the Holidays

The holidays are here! There sure is a lot of hustle and bustle happening this time of year—it’s all too easy to overlook a few potential pet dangers around the house. Below, your Niwot, CO reminds you about a few common holiday pet toxins and how to keep your animal companion safe.

Holiday Plants

Poinsettias, very common around the holidays, have been known to produce toxic effects in animals. While a pet would have to ingest quite a lot of the poinsettia plant to cause any real harm, it’s not worth taking a chance. Keep your pet far away.

Mistletoe and holly can also be poisonous to pets, so don’t leave these plants within your companion’s reach. Lilies, common in gift baskets and bouquets, are another serious danger. Remove them from your home at once.


You’re probably already aware that chocolate is very bad for pets. Ingesting chocolate of any type, as well as foods that contain chocolate, can result in serious symptoms like excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, and worse if a pet doesn’t receive prompt treatment. It’s imperative that you don’t leave any sort of chocolate treats out on the kitchen table or countertops where crafty pets may be able to swipe them down.


Did you know that many varieties of candy, gum, and even certain baked goods are not safe for pets? That’s because they may be sweetened with xylitol, a sugar substitute that has highly toxic properties for our animal companions. Very small amounts of xylitol can result in lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and other serious health symptoms if a pet manages to get their paws on a product containing it. Restrict your animal friend’s access at all times.

Fatty Foods

It’s best to secure your pet elsewhere during holiday meals; that way, no guests have a chance to slip your pet any fatty table scraps. Not only can fatty items cause digestive upset, diarrhea, or vomiting, too much fat at one time can even result in an extremely dangerous case of pancreatitis!

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol can poison pets very easily—animals respond to it in the same way we do. Never allow your pet to ingest liquor, beer, wine, or champagne, and don’t give your pet alcohol of any kind on purpose.

Do you have further questions on pet safety during the holiday season? Call your Niwot, CO vet for more information.

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