Dog Holiday Myths: Fact vs. Fiction

The holiday season brings us joy and good tidings but along with those come rich foods and decorations that can be harmful for dogs. While it is vital to watch out for a few lurking dangers that the holiday season brings, there are also quite a few myths about things that are dangerous for your dog. We at WonderWoof have put some holiday dog danger myths under the microscope to see which ones are for real and which ones are tall tales. Keep your dog’s tail wagging this holiday season by reading through our dog holiday myths: fact vs. fiction!


MYTH #1:Poinsettias are highly toxic.
This is a myth and is simply not as true as advertised. While many pet owners and even websites will tell you that a couple bites of a poinsettia can be dangerous to a dog’s kidney, in reality it is the sticky white sap that the plant produces that can cause stomach irritation in dogs. We don’t recommend letting your dog eat your poinsettias, but the toxicity level has been greatly exaggerated.

Actual dangerous plants: These plants are no joke when it comes to your dog’s health and should be avoided at all costs. The first true danger in terms of holiday plants are lilies. Lilies, when ingested, can be very dangerous to a dog’s kidney. The second holiday plant that is dangerous to your dog is Mistletoe. If swallowed, it can cause cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems. The last culprit on the holiday plant list is Holly. Your dog will not be happy if it eats Holly as it causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Stay clear of these plants while decorating your home this holiday and you’ll ensure the gift of a healthy dog.

MYTH #2: Tinsel is a pet friendly decoration.
Consider this myth busted. While the glitter of tinsel is enticing to our eyes, that enticement can quickly lead to a bite and swallow from your dog which can result in an obstructed digestive tract, dehydration, vomiting and in some cases surgery. It is best to avoid tinsel in the holiday season.

Keep your decorations dog friendly: In many cases holiday decorations and dogs don’t mix. Our advice is to make sure your holiday decorations and dog are kept separate. Whether that means putting up a barrier around your Christmas Tree or keeping all holiday decorations up high so your dog can not get to them. It does not matter what holiday you are celebrating, what is important is that your dog stays healthy through the celebrations. With electrical cords, open flames, and bright lights, your dog has plenty to get in trouble with. Keep everyone in your home healthy and happy by planning ahead.

MYTH #3: Fruitcake is dog friendly
This delicious holiday treat for humans is highly toxic and potentially deadly to our four legged friends. The common fruit found in fruit cake – raisins, currants, and grapes – are very dangerous to dogs. In addition to these fruits, if the fruitcake has been soaked in alcohol, typically rum, it can also be poisonous to your dog. The alcohol will travel very quickly through your dog’s bloodstream and can lead to seizures and respiratory failure.

Safe treats: Want to give your dog a treat this holiday season? Your dog will love a chew toy, like the “indestructible” Kong toys, that can be stuffed with their favorite safe treats. Try our favorites from the doggy treat boutique Maison de Pawz and their special holiday gift shop – If you want to give your dog some food off your plate, try to stick to the basics like lean white meat and grains. Avoid fatty foods at all cost. Also, remember to give your dog a nibble off your plate, not a meal. Proper portions are very important and keep your dog fit during the tummy busting holidays!

MYTH #4: Swiffer Wet Jet & Febreeze can harm your dog.
This myth was spread mostly through an email which claimed the chemicals from these products could get on your dog’s paws and then become ingested when your dog licks their paws. The email also stated that these products contained anti-freeze. The truth is that these products contain nothing that is dangerous to your pet. In fact, the email spread so wide that the Animal Poison Control of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals looked into it and deemed the email to be a lie. You can review the details here:

But there are some holiday season house products that you should avoid. For example, heat scented oils, if left in a place your dog can reach, can lead to severe burns and digestive issues. These are also particularly dangerous to cats and so moving them to a higher place may not be beneficial. You can certainly keep your house filled with your favorite holiday scents, just make sure you keep your dog and cat away from those areas.

If you are looking for more tips on how to keep your dog safe this holiday season this article from PetSafe is a great resource,

We at WonderWoof wish you an extremely happy HOWLiday season and an even happier new year!