• Ornaments
  • Tinsel: cats love to ingest tinsel which often gets stuck in the intestines causing a blockage
  • Snowglobes: can contain ethylene glycol; highly toxic to the kidneys in small amounts
  • Liquid Potpourri: severe chemical burns, difficulty breathing or tremors
  • Candles: Pets can easily burn themselves with a wagging tail or curious nose
  • Wires: risk of electric shock if chewed


  • Everyone knows poinsettia but the toxicity is very mild usually only causing mild gastrointestinal signs
  • Flower Arrangements containing lilies, holly or mistletoe
  • Toxic Types of Lilies: Asiatic, Stargazer, Tiger, Day and Easter most toxic to cats
  • Water from the Christmas Tree: can contain fertilizers or brew bacteria sitting stagnant in your home
  • Food/Drink


  • Grapes, Raisins & currants: kidney failure
  • Chocolate: gastrointestinal upset, neurologic signs
  • Sugar-free treats containing xylitol an artificial sweetener
  • Bones: can become lodged if swallowed in the esophagus or causing gastrointestinal bleeding if sharp points are present
  • Fatty meats: can induce pancreatitis if ingested

How to keep my pet safe?

  • Try to keep decorations out of reach as new objects are very interesting to a dog or cat to investigate.
  • Keeping the Christmas tree in a room where you can close the door or block off entry when you are not there to monitor
  • Secure the Christmas tree to avoid it falling over causing physical injury
  • Opt for fake flowers if fresh bouquets cannot be kept out of reach
  • Keep pets out of the kitchen or dining areas during meals
  • Keep electric cables wrapped and avoid leaving these plugged in when not home to avoid your pet chewing a live wire

What should I do if my pet ingests any of these?

Call your local vet immediately for advice. In general with toxic ingestions sooner is always better in preventing serious effects.
You may be tempted to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide but consult your veterinarian first as certain toxins can be made worse by vomiting. Finding out if this is a safe first step is very important!!