Holiday Hazards

This is the time of year I love the most!  The air is crisp, the leaves are beautiful, bright colors and (my favorite) pumpkin pie is in the oven!  This is such a festive time for most of us – with all the cooking, decorating and travelling safety of our pets is sometimes overlooked.  Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to make this Holiday Season safer for our four-legged friends:

Toxic Treats

Chocolate – the darker the chocolate the more dangerous it is to your pet. Baker's chocolate is the most dangerous.

Nuts – almonds, pistachios, walnuts and macadamia nuts are toxic to pets

Alcohol – can lead to intoxication, seizures and respiratory failure.

Grapes and Raisins – can cause fatal kidney failure.

Sugar-free gum and candies can contain Xylitol (an artificial sweetner) that can cause a precipitious drop in blood sugar if your pet ingests them

Bones and fatty or spicy table scraps – life-threatening pancreatitis can develop with severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Uncooked yeast dough – if ingested, can "rise" in the intestinal tract leading to bloat, obstruction or rupture of the stomach.

Toxic Plants

Poinsettias – can lead to gastric upset and irritation

Pine needles – from the Christmas tree or decorations can irritate the oral cavity or puncture through intestines if eaten.

Holly – also causes vomiting, diarrhea and severe depression in attitude.

Mistletoe – is the most dangerous plant this time of year – causing vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, collapse and sometimes death


Gift wrap ribbons, Christmas trees, tinsel, and ornaments all catch the attention of our pets!  Some of these items can lead to life-threatening intestinal obstruction if ingested.  Broken ornaments can lacerate paws or mouths.  Extra electrical cords can electrocute pets chewed upon.  Bubble lights on Christmas trees contain toxic chemicals, some snow globes contain antifreeze and Christmas trees can tumble due to curious cats attempting a climb or rambunctious dogs running past!

All in all this is a wonderful time of year!  Please keep your pet's safety in mind so we can all enjoy this Holiday Season without a trip to our Emergency Service!

Happy Holidays everyone,

Dr. B


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