By Wednesday, December 20, 2023 4 No tags Permalink

As Christmas draws near, Tis the Season for canine caution becomes a constant re-run in my mind as I prepare for the holiday week hosting friends and family.

Each year the internet is flooded with cautionary tales of what to –

  • avoid
  • do
  • look out for

when it comes to our pets!

Color me hypervigilant because I typically take a moment to glance over a few links as a gentle reminder of what could change the trajectory of my holiday plans. Items I sometimes forget to recognize as potential hazards to our four-legged family members. Here’s a brief overview of what we need to make sure our dogs (and in most cases cats too!) should not get into!


  • Onions and Garlic: anemia, when consumed in excessive amounts
  • Chocolate: vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors and heart failure
  • Meat Bones: cooked, can splinter and cause gastrointestinal blockage or lacerations
  • Grapes and Raisins: acute kidney failure
  • Alcohol: low blood pressure, tremors, seizures, comas, and death
  • Sugar-Free Candies and Pastries


  • Holly: vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, lip smacking, and headshaking
  • Mistletoe: stomach problems and in large amounts may lead to hypotension, seizures, and even death
  • Poinsettias: oral irritation and gastrointestinal distress
  • Christmas Trees: cover the water reservoir – drinking this stagnant water causes vomiting and diarrhea
  • Ornaments and Snow Globes: contain poisonous chemicals that cause kidney failure
  • Tinsel, String, Bows, and Ribbons: made from plastic or metal and could cut through the digestive tract if swallowed
  • Electrical Cords: if chewed can cause oral burns, seizures, and death


HA!: not what you think 🙂

Guests tend to leave their open purses, briefcases, and fanny packs lying around (on the floor, beds, etc…) with medication, sugar-free gum, or over-the-counter pain meds within the eye/nose sight of your pup. A good practice is to ask your guests to keep their doors closed!

Having a house full can also be stressful for your dog, Make sure he/she has a quiet and safe place to go when it becomes too overwhelming.


  • Heaters and Warming Devices: can cause trouble if knocked over
  • Candles: when lit, place away from your dog‘s reach
  • Fireplaces: fire logs – if chewed on could cause a digestive tract obstruction
  • Cleaning Supplies: ammonia, bleach, and chlorine can cause stomach irritation
  • Rock Salt: stomach upset, and potentially electrolyte problems. When trapped in paw pads, it causes abrasions and lacerations that can lead to pain/infection
  • Antifreeze: causes kidney failure and death


All humans will be paying attention to Jaxson and the new items he may want to get into.

My son loves to chew sugar-free gum, but he purposely leaves it in the glove compartment of his car to avoid what could be a fatal accident. A bit “over-the-top” you might think, but I have prayed with one too many pet parents whose dogs were fighting for their lives for far less…

..I’m good with being a helicopter Doodle Mom 🙂

Doodle Mom and I wish you a very Merry Woofmus ❤️

  • Cheryl Adams
    December 20, 2023

    Thank you for the all too important message, dogs are just toddles with four legs and a tail! We can’t be too cautious!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours! ❤️

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 1, 2024

      I like that – toddlers with tails.. Sounds like a great podcast discussion 🙂

  • Tails Around the Ranch
    December 22, 2023

    Well done AI images! Have a safe and merry holiday season.

    • Cathy Bennett
      January 1, 2024

      Thanks so much…