Christmas Hazards for Dogs And Cats

There are some things we bring into the home over the festive season that can potentially be hazardous to our pets.

Here is a list of the most common reasons vets get emergency calls this time of year.

Christmas Hazards for dogs and cats mistletoe and poinsettia

Mistletoe & Poinsettia:

Ingestion of the berries of mistletoe and leaves of poinsettia can cause gastric upset in dogs and cats. Ensure any fallen leaves or berries are cleared up.

christmas hazards for pets dogs mince pies raisins grapes

Mince Pies:

Mince pies favourite for some this time of year (not me!). If your dog is prone to counter surfing, ensure the mince pies are put away in the cupboard.

Raisins (and grapes) can be extremely toxic to dogs. Unlike other toxins, there is no safe level for dogs to ingest. Some dogs eat a bunch of grapes or raisins and are fine, others eat just one and develop kidney damage.

As a precaution, it is recommended that pets that eat raisins and grapes see the vet immediately. Although they may appear fine, the kidney problems do not usually develop until 48 hours after ingestion.

dogs chocolate toxicity christmas hazards


Chocolate, especially dark chocolate can be toxic to dogs. Therefore, it is advisable not to put chocolate decorations on the tree as your dog may just help themselves. Also, gift wrapped boxes of chocolate must not be kept under the tree. Dogs are more than capable of unboxing the chocolate for you and ingesting the wrappers as well!

dog and cat christmas hazards medication


You may keep your medication safely stored away in a cupboard, but it is advisable to endure your overnight guests do the same. Visitors may keep their belongings in a bag or on the bedside table. A curious dog may explore and have a nibble.

dog cat christmas hazard batteries


As unappetising as it sounds, vets do receive calls of dogs eating batteries. Batteries pose a few hazards.

Chewing the battery may cause the acid inside to leak. This can cause burns and corrosion of body tissue.

Larger batteries can cause an intestinal obstruction if swallowed.

The smaller button batteries can actually create an electrical current inside the body, will cause damage.

cta dog christmas hazard tinsel


Dangling tinsel can be very luring to cats. However, during play, there is the risk that your cats eats some of the tinsel. This can lead to intestinal blockage. So when your cat is stalking the Christmas tree, divert their attention onto a more appropriate toy instead.


Having management in place and being aware of potential hazards can reduce the chances of an emergency trip to the vet this Christmas.

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