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Holiday Hazards for Exotics and Pocket Pets

December 1, 2020

Season’s Greetings! The holidays may not be as busy this year as usual, but it’s still nice to enjoy some traditional meals, movies, and music with our loved ones. Those seasonal trappings really do give our homes an extra-cozy feel. However, this can be a dangerous time of year for pets. A Galena, MD veterinarian lists some specific hazards for exotic pets and pocket pets below.

The Tree

That beautiful tree may be a perfect centerpiece, but it’s also very dangerous for your cute pet. Tinsel, pine needles, garlands, and ribbons can all choke pets, and can cause serious internal problems if swallowed. Ornament hooks and sharp ornaments can cut your little pal. Some pets may also want to drink the tree’s water, which may be contaminated by pesticides, herbicides, and other substances. Others may even try to climb it! Use baby gates to keep pets away. You may even want to keep your pet in a different room. Better safe than sorry!

Heating Elements

Candles, potpourri burners, and fireplaces are all very dangerous to our animal pals. Use grates before fireplaces, and keep candles and potpourri burners in high, secure spots.


Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, and Poinsettias are all toxic to pets. If you like to set out these seasonal favorites, make sure that your little pal can’t reach them.


Many smaller pets are quite timid, and can easily be frightened by a lot of noise and commotion. Consider putting your little buddy in a travel cage, and letting them relax in a quiet back room if you’re hosting an event or party.


Those delicious seasonal meals are a big part of many holiday traditions. However, many of our favorites are toxic to pets. You’ll need to be extra careful if you’re having little ones around. Many children don’t know what is and isn’t safe for our animal friends, and may try to share their food with pets. While every animal is unique, there are a few things that are unsafe for all of them. This list includes garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; caffeine; chocolate; avocado; and anything containing xylitol. Ask your vet for specific advice.

All of us here at Galena Animal Medical Clinic, your Galena, MD veterinary clinic, want to wish you and your pet a safe, happy, and healthy holiday. Please feel free to contact us anytime!

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