As a pet owner, you’re probably well aware that there are lots of things your pet can get into during the holidays. Decorations, various foods, and gift wrapping items can pose a health hazard if your pet chews and/or swallows them, and open flames can easily become a fire hazard if they get knocked over. Below, we’ve provided a list for owners to consult so they can create a safe, enjoyable environment for their pets and guests alike.

Open Doors and Arrival of Guests

Some pets become very anxious when there are a lot of people in the house, and they may try to escape by sneaking out an open door. If your pet is an escape artist, be sure to greet guests as they come in and make sure the door is closed securely behind them. For anxious or skittish pets, we recommend keeping them in a separate room away from the noise and bustle. Ideally, they should have someone to watch over them to make sure they’re comfortable and have the things they need.

Holiday Pet Safety in Orillia

Foods and Beverages

Keep the following foods and beverages out of your pet’s reach; they can cause illness and other harmful conditions.

  • Chocolate (especially dark chocolate)
  • Grapes, raisins and currants
  • Chives, garlic, onions and leeks
  • Corn cobs
  • Macadamia nuts, pistachios, walnuts and pecans
  • Butter, grease, yeast from unbaked dough
  • Chicken and turkey bones
  • An artificial sweetener known as xylitol found in mints, sugar free candy, and other sweets
  • Caffeine and alcohol

Toxic Plants

These common holiday plants can cause sickness or even death in pets. Either avoid keeping them in your home, or place them far out of reach.

  • English holly (berries and leaves)
  • Jerusalem cherry
  • Mistletoe
  • Poinsettias
  • Amaryllis
  • Pine (Christmas tree) – the water for the tree is also toxic, due to the accumulation of pine sap mixed with tree preservatives
  • Christmas cactus
Holiday Pet Safety in Orillia


Choking, bowel obstruction, and internal and external injury can result if your pet encounters and/or ingests the following items:

  • Glass ornaments
  • Tinsel, string, ribbon
  • Strands of lights, including loose bulbs and exposed electrical cords
  • Artificial Christmas trees/wreaths with detachable parts
  • Lit candles

Have any questions for our team in Orillia? Give us a call at (705) 325-4224.