Pet owners should be aware of dangers with holiday foods, decorations, veterinarian says

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Holiday dangers for your pets
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Dr. David Gonsky said people should be aware of possible holiday dangers due to curiosity of pets.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- When the COVID-19 pandemic started earlier this year, many people adopted pets to have a furry friend during quarantine.

Now, the holidays are approaching and you may not realize the dangers your pets face this time of year.

We spoke to Dr. David Gonsky of West Loop Veterinary Care. He says animals are curious and love to explore new things. That's why it's important to know the dangers of holiday foods and decorations.

Many have heard of the dangers of poinsettias. Dr. Gonsky says they can irritate a pet's mouth or cause an upset stomach but they are not as toxic as many people think. The most toxic plants include lilies, which he says should never be allowed in homes with cats, amaryllis, holly, and mistletoe.

When it comes to other decorations, pets can be intrigued by lights, trees, candles and anything they can reach so it's important to make sure pets can't reach those decorations. If you have a real Christmas tree, make sure pets cannot access the water because it may contain bacteria.

Christmas and Hanukkah can both involve a lot of chocolate. Dr. Gonsky says baking chocolate is especially toxic to pets and the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. That's why it's so important to keep candy and baked goods away from animals.