Holiday Hazards

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Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital

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Holiday Hazards

Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital
Published by Dr. Zak Saleh, PhD, MVSc, DVM in Harmful food · 6 December 2019
Tags: HolidayHazardsforPets
Holiday Hazards for Pets

For many people, winter is a time of holidays, parties and family get-togethers.  It’s only fair to include your pet.  There are some unique challenges that come with the cold weather, and a holiday party can create hazards for your pet.

Many holiday food items are potentially dangerous to pets.  Chocolate is frequently a feature of celebrations, and it can be deadly to your pet.  Other foods can have dangerous ingredients too.  As a general rule, don’t share human food with your pet.  Make sure guests know not to feed them.  Some pets, mainly dogs, are accomplished beggars, and can wheedle tidbits out of almost anyone.  If you aren’t sure about your pet’s ability to restrain their vacuum tendencies, it may be safer to exclude them from parties and gatherings. See more.

Many holiday plants are toxic to pets, some more than others.  Some examples include poinsettia (slightly toxic), holly, and mistletoe (European mistletoe is particularly bad).  The level of toxicity depends on the size of your pet and the amount ingested, but it’s always safest to consult your veterinarian if your pet eats any plants.  Some plants can even be fatal if ingested.  Lilies can cause kidney failure and death in cats.  If your pet likes to browse on houseplants, it’s a good idea to research what plants are ok and which ones to avoid.

Toxic plants

Be careful what ornaments and decorations you use, and supervise your pet around potential hazards.  Glass ornaments can break, power cords can cause shocks and burns if chewed, ribbons, string and strands of tinsel can cause a potentially dangerous obstruction if ingested.  Candles can be knocked over, and if something isn’t kid-safe, it’s also not pet-safe.

A common winter poison is antifreeze.  It has a very sweet taste, and many animals will happily drink it.  Keep containers closed up tight, and clean up spills promptly.  If you think your pet may have consumed antifreeze, you should seek veterinary attention immediately.  Another problem is the cold.  Some dogs love the cold and snow, but it can be rough on older pets and those who don’t have heavy undercoats.  Make sure your snow-loving dog has a warm shelter if they like to spend a lot of time outside, but bring all pets inside during severe cold or bad weather whether they like it or not.  Frail pets should spend minimal time outdoors, and even some dogs could benefit from being litter trained.

If you are looking for a vet in Newmarket, call us at 905-898-1010.


Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital - 905-898-1010

107-525 Brooker Ridge, Newmarket, ON L3X 2M2

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