5 holiday pet hazards you never thought about

Wikimedia Commons photo credit: Uploaded by AlbertHerring Author, Virginia State Parks staff

(WFLA) — You’ve probably heard about foods that you should not let your pets eat over the holidays. But there are other dangers for dogs and cats that you might not know about.

Veterinarians at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners want to make sure that these potential holiday emergencies are on your radar, so you and your critters can have a safe celebration.

Christmas Lights

A string of Christmas lights may not sound dangerous, but every year veterinarians treat dogs and cats with electrical burns on their mouths. The reason? Some pets, especially cats and puppies, just love to chew those power cords.

Jingle Bell Toy

Buy a big package of cat toys and you’re likely to get a small plastic ball with jingle bells inside it. When is this dangerous? When your dog decides it’s a delectable treat and swallows it.


If you give your dog some fatty human food, vomiting and diarrhea may result. But low-calorie food could hurt dogs even more – and possibly kill them – especially if the food includes the artificial sweetener Xylitol. The substance is highly toxic to dogs. It shows up in gum, sugar-free candies and baked goods  –  even in a few types of specialty peanut butters. Check labels to avoid the danger.

Ribbons on Gifts

Ribbons can cause big problems when dogs or cats ingest them, especially if they travel all the way into the intestines.

Grandma’s Purse…. Or Anyone Else’s

Can be a hazard especially if the purse is left on the floor where your inquisitive pet may stick a nose inside it and wind up eating something dangerous, like a bottle of medicine.

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