Holiday Pet Tips

In this time of merriment and parties, pets can get themselves in a bit of trouble. The holidays with all its splendors bring with them a new set of hazards for your pet. Listed below are a few things that can turn your happy holidays into large vet bills and a sad season.

Here’s one holiday list you can check twice to help keep your furry members of your family happy and healthy.

  • Tinsel: If ingested it can become tangled in the intestines of the pet. In cats tinsel can also cause tears in the lining of the intestines. If tinsel does become lodged in the intestines, surgery will be needed to remove it.
  • Poinsettia: This plant can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but rarely causes severe problems.
  • Christmas Tree Preservatives: This is added to the water of your tree to keep it fresher for a long period of time. It has sugar and fertilizer in it, which can cause vomiting. Some contain chemicals, which can be highly toxic to pets so be sure to read the label.
  • Mistletoe: This is highly toxic and can cause a number of problems from vomiting to and diarrhea to some severe such as seizures or a coma.
  • Chocolate: This is a sweet treat for you and I, but chocolate is poison to cats and dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be digested by their bodies and instead of being eliminated it builds in the pets system. There is no way of knowing what your pet’s threshold for this chemical, and size is not an issue in this matter. Some dogs can become deathly ill after consuming only a half an ounce of chocolate.
  • Quiet Time: Shy animals can get stressed with the hustle and bustle of holiday guests, so make sure there’s a quiet room to which your pets can retreat. Remember to make sure your pets have a collar and their ID tags in case they do escape.

Not planning ahead for your pet can be worth a large vet bill and a holiday spent at the vet instead of with friends and the rest of the family. New Bedford Animal Control wishes you and your pet a safe and happy holiday and a prosperous New Year.

Animal Poison Control Center: 1-888-426-4435


  1. Chocolate is poisonous to your pet! Although you love chocolate it can be deadly for an animal.
  2. Candy wrappers left around home can make your pet sick too! Lots of animals love the shiny wrappers that candy comes in, but eating them can make your pet sick.
  3. DO NOT approach strange animals when you are out trick or treating. Just because you like all animals doesn’t mean they all like you!
  4. Make sure your animals are safe and secure at home while you are out having fun.
  5. If a strange animal approaches you DO NOT touch it, unless the owner says it is O.K.
  6. Remember your animal knows you as you, NOT as the costume person you are trying to portray.
  7. When opening the door for children place your dog in another room where it cannot sneak by you as you open the door.