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Tis’ the season for gift wrapping, cookie exchanges, decorating trees and more. While the holiday season is enjoyable and fun for humans, the season’s festivities can pose risks for pets.

“Decorating for the holidays is exciting but did you know certain holiday plants and even pet treats can be dangerous for your pets? Keep these things out of reach and remember: quality over cuteness! Those red and green rawhides and oversized bones can contain harmful chemicals or cause intestinal blockages,” says WVRC (Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center).

To avoid a trip to the Emergency Room or your veterinarian’s office, here is a general list of what you should avoid this holiday season:

Holiday hazards to avoid:

According to ETHOS Veterinary Health here are items you want to make sure your pet doesn’t ingest or play with this holiday season.


  • String lights
  • Tinsel
  • Ornaments
  • Candles

These items can cause oral injury and GI obstructions.


  • Fatty foods
  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Gum
  • Grapes
  • Nuts
  • Cooked bones

Certain foods can be poisonous, and toxic. A variety of foods can cause adverse reactions.

Gift wrap:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Ribbons
  • Tape

Supplies like gift wrap can cause GI obstructions and can contain toxins

Toys & treats:

  • Rawhides
  • Cheaply-made treats
  • Artificial dyes
  • Treated bones

Treats and toys on sale specifically for the holidays can cause harm. These items can cause a variety of issues such as intestinal blockages, poisonous chemicals, and or cause animals to choke.


  • Tree water
  • Holly
  • Berries
  • Mistletoe
  • poinsettias

Items like berries, spiny leaves, fertilizers, and bacteria on plants/trees can be hazardous. These items can cause oral injuries and be poisonous.


  • Clothing with bells, strings
  • Items containing hazardous materials

Be wise when dressing your pet up for the holiday season. Strings, bells, and other decorations can cause choking and GI problems.

Where to go in an emergency

If an emergency occurs and your pet is in need of medical care, here are the nearest animal emergency rooms in Southeastern Wisconsin:

  • WVRC – Racine/Kenosha
    • 1123 58th Ave., Somers, WI 53144
  • WVRC – Waukesha
    • 360 Bluemound Road, Waukesha, WI 53188
  • BluePearl Pet Hospital – Oak Creek
    • 9472 S. 27th St., Oak Creek, WI 53154


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