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A potentially hazardous New Year's Eve

A potentially hazardous New Year's Eve

As December begins, many people become busy with preparations for the upcoming New Year. This includes decorating homes, reflecting on the past year, planning vacations, and selecting gifts. Gifts are sought for friends, family members, colleagues, and even four-legged pets. Let's discuss this topic. 

The pet population in Russia is steadily increasing. In 2023, over 30% of Russians will have a furry companion. At the same time, it is gratifying to see that not only the number of pets is growing, but also the level of responsibility of their owners, who regularly check the health of their pets and carefully choose their food. However, pet owners often overlook simple household items that can pose a threat to the health and safety of their curious four-legged friends.

BOWL WOW's veterinary experts have compiled a list of holiday hazards. These are items and situations that can harm your pet during the New Year's holiday season.


The New Year's Eve rush can be a big stressor for pets due to the fireworks, firecrackers, and strangers in the home.

If the animal reacts painfully to such stimuli, it is recommended to consult with your veterinarian beforehand. Sedatives may help the animal get through the stressful weeks of shared fun.

When walking your pet, ensure their safety by checking the integrity of their leash, harness, or collar. Additionally, it is recommended to carry an identification tag with your phone number in case they get lost. Finally, try to avoid walking on the streets during mass explosions of firecrackers and fireworks.


Bright flashes and loud noises can disorient animals, provoking panic and the desire to flee. As a result, a significant number of dogs are lost on New Year's Eve. 

The safety of the pet's home

Secondly, it is important to assess the safety of your home from your pet's perspective. 

Tinsel and ornaments

New Year's tinsel and lametta are the most dangerous elements of decor for animals as they tend to eat them. Thin polyethylene bands can wrap around the root of the tongue, cut the walls of the esophagus or stomach, cause obstruction in the intestinal lumen, disrupt the GI tract, and trigger an acute inflammatory process. 

If you notice tinsel protruding from your pet's mouth or anus, do not attempt to remove it yourself. This situation requires emergency veterinary assistance.

Garlands and candles

Outlet-powered garlands can pose a hazard in apartments before New Year's Eve. If an animal bites the wire, it may suffer an electric shock due to a potential short circuit. If your pet enjoys playing with wires, it is best to hang and connect decorations higher up or choose other types of decor. 

Attention should also be given to the candles. Flickering flames can pique the interest of all animals, but they can be particularly dangerous for cats. Cats are known to climb on tables and overcome obstacles, and may even play with fire.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see singed vibrissae or tails, and this is the best-case scenario if the owner happened to be in the vicinity. To ensure the safety of your pets, it is recommended to use LED candles.

Christmas tree and Christmas ornaments

Let's proceed to the primary symbol of the New Year - a decorated Christmas tree. Cats and dogs enjoy playing with spruce branches and sometimes even hide in them. At this point, sharp needles can be easily ingested, causing gastrointestinal problems, including perforation of the intestinal walls. In addition, small insects such as forest bugs and spider mites, as well as other inhabitants of the forest ecosystem, may remain on live fir trees. When it comes to artificial trees, their needles may contain toxic substances for animals. 

Another desirable target for playtime is shiny Christmas tree ornaments. However, these types of activities can often result in the need for surgery to remove foreign objects from the stomach. 

  • When choosing toys for your pet, it is recommended to prioritize those made of natural materials. Additionally, it is important to consider the size of the toy to ensure that it cannot fit in your pet's mouth. 
  • Avoid using glass toys to decorate areas accessible to pets as they can break and cause wounds and cuts. 
  • It is not recommended to use Styrofoam snowflakes as they can crumble easily. Animals may chew on the ornaments and potentially block their gastrointestinal tract.

Holiday Meals

Thirdly, it is important to adhere to the dietary plan. Its changes are also one of the reasons for emergency visits to the vet over the holidays.

We are excited to give our beloved pet a delicious treat, even though your pet is skilled at begging for it. A small piece of sausage, cheese, or meat is unlikely to harm his health. However, even minor dietary changes can lead to serious disorders, including acute pancreatitis, which can be fatal in a matter of hours, if the animal is accustomed to industrial diets.

Do not feed your pet table scraps, especially if it has not been exposed to human food before. Also, guests should be advised not to feed the pet under any circumstances. To ensure your pet's happiness, keep its regular food on hand and offer it a few pellets at a time. The key is not to overfeed.

We would like to mention the treats for animals separately. These treats are created specifically for four-legged pets and seem safe to their owners. However, it is important to limit the amount of treats given to the animal. Treats should not exceed 10% of the daily ration to avoid undesirable effects such as diarrhea and other digestive disorders. On New Year's Eve, it's important to practice moderation.

Dangerous Gifts

Forthly, even toys purchased as gifts for pets can be dangerous.

Before the new year, pet stores offer holiday-themed merchandise. When selecting toys, consider the size and temperament of the animal.

For instance, if your dog can easily handle a reindeer antler, you should not purchase a teddy bear with a rustling New Year's Eve hat or a rubber flavored bone. Before purchasing, carefully inspect the toy for dangerous small parts - buttons, beads, fringes - that your pet could chew off and accidentally swallow. Always evaluate toys for functionality and pet safety. Maintain your composure and do not make exceptions when tempted by attractive designs - there can be no compromise when it comes to health.

We wish you and your pets a happy and safe New Year!