11 Holiday Hazards To Keep Away From Your Pups

Written by: Brandon Rhoads

December 23, 2014

While the holidays allow for all sorts of good times, they also require we take extra care of our pups. Few people imagine their festive decorations and holiday foodstuffs as potentially dangerous, but for dogs the holidays present several possible hazards.

Fortunately, a little knowledge goes a long way. Just keep your pup away from any of the items on this list and you’ll all be able to safely enjoy your holidays!

1. Turkey

Holiday meals alone present an entire list of hazards, but the big food item to be careful with is the turkey. It’s loaded in unhealthy fat, covered in dangerous herbs and spices, and full of sharp, brittle, dog-choking bones.

Image via Managed Moms

2. Holiday Plants

Mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias are all off-limits, and so is the Christmas tree. Each of these plants is naturally toxic to your dog. If you treat any of these plants with chemicals to preserve them through the holidays, they will only be MORE toxic. Keep them out of reach of naughty-minded pups!

Image via

3. Sweets

We have yet to meet the pastry that is good for a dog. (Well, maybe these pastries.) So many contain chocolate and sugar, and those that don’t contain sugar contain xylitol, which is incredibly toxic to dogs. No cookies, no pie, no gelt. No exceptions!

Image via ToddsOrlando

4. Decorations

Whether a bulb on the tree or a string of lights on the banister, it looks like a chew toy to your dog. Holiday decorations are often made of glass or run on electricity, neither of which are good for your pup (duh).

Image via Three Dogs At Home

5. Edible Ornaments.

In keeping with number 4, be wary of using popcorn, cereal, or hard candies to decorate your tree or home. That’s just asking for your dog to eat something it’s not supposed to eat.

Image via DogShaming

6. Alcohol

No no no. Just no. Your dog does not want to have a drink with you. They may want to win your affection, but there are healthy ways for you two to bond. Alcohol is poisonous to dogs.

Image via BunkBlog

7. Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper poses many of the same problems that decorations pose: too many easily chewed items which shouldn’t be chewed. Ribbon, tape, staples, stickers, and any of the other items used to wrap gifts should not be ingested by dogs or treated as chew toys.

Of course, there are CERTAIN circumstances in which your dog can play with wrapping paper, but make sure it’s under strict supervision (as below 🙂 ):

8. Batteries

Your home might have a few more batteries around over the holidays than normal. Since batteries range in size, they might accidentally be swallowed by your dog or treated like a nice big rawhide. Neither scenario is a good one.

Image via DogShaming

9. The Cold

Like number 1, this could easily be its own list. The winter tends to be harsh and unforgiving wherever the temperature drops dramatically. If you take your dog outside for holiday fun, make sure you keep your pup warm, dry, and hydrated during the snow season.

Image via Rebloggy

10. Tiny Hooman Toys

Your dog might mistake some of the new tiny hooman toys for their own. But toys not designed to be chewed on or played with by dogs clearly shouldn’t be used by dogs. Hooman toys have many more pieces than dog toys and they tend to be sharp.

Image via DogCollege

11. Guests

Okay, so your in-laws aren’t technically a threat to your dog, but if they don’t know what’s off-limits for your pup, they might not be able to help you keep your dog healthy over the holiday. In other words, educate your holiday guests.

Image via SlicedSoup

If you’d like to learn more about keeping your pup safe for the holidays, we recommend you consult with the American Kennel Club, the ASPCA, or Real Simple.

Featured Image via SlicedSoup

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Written by: Brandon Rhoads

December 23, 2014

Nutritionist-crafted food for your dog's breed or mix.

Recipes designed for dogs' individuality



A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.