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Your Pets’ Safety this Holiday Season

Two toy evergreen trees next to a toy snowman with a small black-and-white kitten on the far left. Background is white with a dark green border.

Wintry decorations. Freshly wrapped gifts beneath the tree. Unique, tasty treats. The memories and nostalgia the holiday season brings us can spell danger for our pets.Wooden candle holder that says, "Kwanzaa" on the center of it. It holds seven candles in red, black, and green. It sits on a table with a few symbolic food items.

Keep your pet’s safety in mind as you deck the halls, head into the kitchen to prepare for Kwanzaa Karamu, and wrap the Hanukkah gelt for Bubbe and Zaydie. Follow these tips from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and save yourself heartache and your pets a stomachache.

Here are the top holiday toxins that can spell danger to our pets:

Sales of this delicious delicacy prove that chocolate is hands-down our favorite indulgence. From bars to chips to drinkable form, chocolate is the most popular treat this time of year. Cocoa is toxic to pets and the milk fats that can be found in chocolate also causes gastric upset.Blue toy dreidel sits on its side with two Hebrew letters in gold showing. Background is Hanukkah gold-wrapped foil coins on the white table.

Tree preservatives
You want that gorgeous tree to last longer, so you add a little something extra to keep it fresh. Be careful! These chemicals can cause vomiting and diarrhea to your pets. Generally it’s mild upset, but if there’s bacterial contamination as well, results are pretty messy.

These pretty potted plants are primarily mucous-membrane irritants and aren’t too dangerous. Still, save yourself and your pet the worry and keep these beauties out of reach of your curious furriest friends.

Those tasty seasonal cocktails. The boozy eggnog. That spiked punch. These drinks all spell disaster for our pets. The good news is that if Luna gets into your seasonal bevvy, she’ll likely vomit it up quickly. The bad news is that alcohol is absorbed very quickly. Keep those drinks out of reach of your pets.

Snow Globes
Gorgeous, tiny seasonal scenes come out to make the days bright and festive for us all. Snow globes can contain ethylene glycol, a substance highly toxic to pets. A broken snow globe can attract pets because the chemical gives off a sweet smell, which can also be fatal. Keep these decorations far away from pets—and small children.Small tabby kitten lounges on a red blanket. He wears a small santa hat and santa coat.

Holiday Food
Pets are notorious for helping themselves to food left sitting out on the counter or table. Keep your household companions out of the kitchen, far away from food prep and cleanup areas. In addition to the aforementioned chocolate and alcohol, add bread dough and fruitcake to the list of things to steer clear of when it comes to pet health.

Salt-containing items come out this time of year in the form of ice melt, salt dough crafts, and play dough. The aroma of these salinated items can be tempting for pets. If ingested, they can cause a life-threatening imbalance of electrolytes. Be sure to store these in a pet-proof container when not in use.

As you gather with loved ones this holiday season, we encourage you to include your pets safely. Follow these precautions for a memorable and joyful holiday season.

If you have an animal poison emergency, connect with ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour veterinary diagnostic and treatment hotline at 888-426-4435.

About Cat Adoption Team

Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the largest cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest. We offer adoption, foster care, and veterinary services to homeless cats and kittens.

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