Holiday Pet Dangers

Pretty bull terrier pet on a christmas ornamentsBy: Juliana M. Villacorta – Executive Director, Found Chicago

Holiday time is upon us. It’s full of food, fun, friends and family. But, it is also full of dangers to our pets. Take a few minutes to look around and pet proof your home so the season will be full of cheer and no “bah humbug” trips to the vet.

Avoid Dangerous Foods!

It’s best to avoid feeding our pets human foods. Many of these foods can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea or intestinal blockage. Some can even be deadly. Stick to pet food/treats. Inform your guests that they are not to pass table scraps to your pets either. Show them where safe pet treats are located. Some foods that are dangerous to are pets are:

  • Chocolate
  • Sugar-free foods containing the sugar substitute Xylitol
  • Bread dough
  • Fat trimming/fatty foods
  • Sage
  • Mushrooms
  • Corn on the cob
  • Bones
  • Grapes/Raisins
  • Alcohol
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onion and garlic

Watch the Decorations!

Though pretty and shiny, many of our holiday decorations can be dangerous to our pets.

  • Tinsel, Ornaments, Ribbons, Hooks…These are all very inviting for our pets to investigate. But, glass ornaments can break causing cuts on their paws or in their apertures, and tinsel and hooks can be ingested and cause serious intestinal blockage.
  • Poinsettas, Mistletoe, Holly…Certain plants can cause diarrhea others like Mistletoe can cause more serious problems.
  • Electrical Cords, Candles, Liquid Potpourri…Some pets like to chew; give them a toy. Don’t let them chew on a string of lights. Candles and liquid potpourri can burn our pets or be knocked over and cause a fire.

Cold Weather!

Just because they have fur doesn’t mean our pets can survive in cold temperatures.

  • Don’t leave your pets outside in the cold for long periods of time. Remember wind chill makes days colder than actual temperature readings. Limit your pet’s time outdoors.
  • If your pet spends a lot of time outside make sure they have adequate shelter, blankets, food and water. Feed your dog additional calories if it spends a lot of time outdoors or is a working animal. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperature regulated, so additional calories are necessary.


Found Chicago, NFP is a 501(c)3 no-kill, all-breed rescue that serves to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home the most medically and behaviorally challenged dogs that would otherwise be euthanized. Found Chicago Boarding & Training Center is a subsidiary of Found Chicago, NFP that provides services to the public to give dog owners the knowledge they need to better handle their dogs and improve the quality of the dog-human relationship. All proceeds from services offered through Found Chicago Boarding and Training Center wholly benefit the dogs we rescue, rehabilitate and re-home.

4108 N. Rockwell
Phone: 773-539-3880
Hours of Operations:Chicago, IL 60618
Monday- Friday: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.


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