Pet proofing your home for the holidays

DENVER — If you're planning to deck your halls for the holidays this year, some of the things you put up may be toxic to your pets. 

Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald spends every Christmas at the VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital. 

"I've worked every Christmas for 36 years. All the things I have seen in 36 years I've seen repeatedly," Fitzgerald said. 

While the holidays can be exciting for us, it can be dangerous for our pets.

Fitzgerald said holiday plants like poinsettias and pine tree needles could cause your pet discomfort if they eat them.

"The milky sap is irritating and can cause some hives, but they're really not too poisonous," said Fitzgerald. 

Cats love tinsel on the tree, but if ingested it can be harmful.

'Tis the season for plenty of baking necessitates. Fitzgerald said he's had a few dogs die in the past from eating unsweetened baking chocolate. 

He adds to keep the cookie dough away from animals, too. 

"If they eat enough of that and it sits in the stomach, it can start to expand, and it can be very discomforting, sometimes surgery," said Fitzgerald. 

Other ways to pet-proof your house for the holidays:

  • Secure your Christmas tree
  • Keep pets out of the tree water as the water can have tree sap in it
  • Avoid hanging edible ornaments 
  • Hide all wires, extension cords from decorations so pets can't chew on them.
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