Holiday Pet Hazards

Guest Bloggers: The Staff at Petagogy

The holidays are a wonderful time filled with family, friends, decorations and good food, but the holidays and cold weather also bring some potential hazards that all pet owners need to be aware of. Keep your holidays healthy and happy by avoiding these common seasonal pet dangers:

•Keep holiday decorations out of reach. Ornaments and holiday trimmings made from glass, metal, ribbon, tinsel and artificial snow can be dangerous if ingested. Pay special attention to low-hanging ornaments on your Christmas tree.

•Place holiday plants off the ground. Many season plants, including holly, mistletoe, poinsettia, lilies, as well as Christmas tree water, can be toxic if ingested by your pets.

•Make sure your pet has current ID tags and/or is micro-chipped. The flow of holiday guests in and out of your home can make it easy for your pets to escape. 

•A bite of plain turkey and vegetables are always great for your pet, but make sure guests keep most of their table scraps on their plates. Fatty foods can cause stomach problems and cooked bones may splinter and cause choking or obstructions.

• Keep Christmas goodies––especially those made with chocolate––away from pets as chocolate is toxic to dogs.

•Be aware of cold weather hazards. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous to pets; just one lick is enough to kill. Wipe your pet’s paws and tummy after walks to remove salt and chemical residues, and use pet-safe ice melt, like Arctic Eco Green (available at Petagogy) for your own driveway and sidewalks.

•Salt on the sidewalks can burn your dog’s paws after a winter walk. Make sure to use a paw protectant such as Musher’s Secret to protect those paws from salt and ice during the winter months.  

•Colder weather also means that most evening walks, and sometimes morning walks, occur in the dark. Make sure you or your pet is wearing some sort of light or reflective gear (such as Nite Ize LED collar lights) so that passing vehicles can see you.

With a few simple precautions, you and your pets can safely enjoy the holidays and winter season!

Petagogy (pronounced pet-uh-go-jee) specializes in premium and natural pet foods, treats and supplies for dogs, cats and small mammals. Petagogy is located at 5880 Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Visit their website at

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