Not only are holiday treats a danger to our waistline, they can be potentially fatal to our pet’s life.
- The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is
- Can cause vomiting, diarrhea seizures, increased heart rate, coma and death
- Sugar substitute
- Found in certain sugar-free products
- Ex: sugar-free gum, certain peanut butter, candy, baking products
- Causes a severe decrease in blood sugar levels
- Symptoms: severe depression, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, coma (Hodgkins)
Grapes and Raisins
- Causes kidney failure
Onions and garlic
- Large amounts cause anemia (low number of red blood cells) (Hodgkins)
Yes, holiday decor can be fun and festive but to your pets, it may be unfavorable or fatal.
- Contrary to belief these plants are mildly toxic to dogs and cats
- Symptoms: mild vomiting, drooling, and uncommonly; diarrhea (“Poinsettias Poisonous to Cats, Dogs – Toxicity of Poinsettias to Pets.”)
Mistletoe and holly
- Small amounts may cause GI upset
- Large amounts can cause seizures, abnormal gait, collapse and death
- Extremely toxic, especially to cats
- Causes kidney failure from just one or two bites
Tree ornaments/ gift wrapping
- Avoid using tinsel for your tree, and put wrapped gifts containing ribbon in a place that cannot be accessed because these look like fun toys to your cats
- Can cause intestinal blockage and perforation of the GI tract
- Ensure your tree is securely anchored to alleviate problem of a pet knocking it over and causing injury
- The water additive for Christmas trees can be irritating to the GI tract and cause vomiting/ diarrhea (“Holiday Safety Tips”.)
- Make sure any electrical wires or ornaments are as inaccessible as possible due to burns and intestinal obstruction/ irritation (“Holiday Safety Tips.”)
Anti-freeze (Ethylene Glycol)
- Sweet tasting to pets
- Rapidly absorbed
- Causes irreversible, severe kidney failure which can lead to death
Salt on driveways and roads
- Irritating to dog’s paws and can be poisonous if it is eaten
- If your dog cooperates putting “booties” on them is not a bad idea
- Rinsing off their paws and wiping them after being in contact with the salt will also help (Castillo)
Battling the cold
- For small, short-haired dogs that have a small amount of body fat it can be difficult for them to retain heat
- Provide them with some warmth and comfort by dressing them in a jacket (Castillo)
Castillo, Michelle. “How to keep your dog safe in cold, snowy weather.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 10 Feb. 2014, www.cbsnews.com/news/how-to-keep-your-dog-safe-in-cold-snowy-weather/.
Hodgkins, Christine . “Toxic and non-Toxic foreign bodies.” Emergencies. Clinical Experience II, 11 Apr. 2016, Leicester , Borger Academic Building, Becker College.
“Holiday Safety Tips.” ASPCA, www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips.
“Poinsettias Poisonous to Cats, Dogs – Toxicity of Poinsettias to Pets.” Pet Poison Helpline, 30 July 2012, www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-safety-tips/are-poinsettias-poisonous-to-cats-dogs/.