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holiday tips

While you are busy making your plans for the holidays, please don't forget to include your pets. Though holidays are a time for giving, but there are some things you should not share with your cat and dogs!


bones and fat

That feast will no doubt leave a lot of  bones, but don't feed them to your pet. Small bones or chips can get stuck in the throat, stomach, and intestinal tract.

All of the the fat your pet needs is in the high quality pet food you provide him. Any additional can cause severe stomach upset to your pet so please don't share that chicken skin or gravy!



Holly and mistletoe are extremely poisonous when eaten. Poinsettia may not be truly poisonous, but the white sap and leaves can certainly cause severe stomach distress. The best approach is to keep the plants out of your pet's reach.


electrical cords

Most animals have the urge to chew.  Be careful of holiday lights and cords.



A lit candle should never be left unattended especially  if left at within the reach of a pet. A tail, a paw, a candle and hot wax can quickly spell disaster. Anchor candles securely and away from pets.



If you give chocolate to your pet, it could make him very ill or kill him. The ingredient in chocolate that is toxic to pets is theobromine. Even small amounts of theobromine can cause vomiting and restlessness in pets. More can be fatal. The amount of chocolate that can kill your pet, depends on the size of the dog and the type of chocolate. For instance, baking chocolate has eight times as much theobromine as milk chocolate does.

Estimates of the smallest amounts that can be fatal are:

  • 4 to 10 ounces of milk chocolate or 1/2 to 1 ounce of baking chocolate for small dogs. (Chihuahua, toy poodle)

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of milk chocolate or 2 to 3 ounces of baking chocolate for medium-sized dogs. (cocker spaniels and terriers)

  • 2 to 4 1/2 pounds of milk chocolate or 4 to 8 ounces of baking chocolate for large dogs. (Collies and Labrador retrievers)

Cats seldom will eat chocolate. If your pet accidentally gets chocolate, consult your veterinarian. He may need to have vomiting induced, his heartbeat and breathing stabilized. He may also seizure. You vet can help your pet by  slowing the absorption of the theobromine. 



Many pets are frightened of fireworks. Keep your pet confined, where he can't hurt himself due to stress and panic. If your pet gets anxious or upset, speak to your veterinarian about what can be done to modify his behavior and to calm him down.


pine needles/trees

Ingested pine needles can puncture your pet's intestines if sharp enough.Make sure your tree is well secured. If you have a tree-climbing cat or large dog with an active tail, anchor the top of the tree to the wall, using strong cord or rope. Preservatives often used in the water in a tree stand can cause stomach upsets, so be sure your pet can't get to the water. 



Sharp or breakable ornaments should be kept out of reach. String (tinsel and ribbons), should be safeguarded at all costs. They are thin and sharp and can cause severe problems to the intestines or ball up in the stomach.



Holidays always bring visitors. Watch out for open doors and escaping pets. Make sure your pets have collars and tags on. Ask guests to keep an eye out for pets under foot and remind them that sometimes your normally friendly pet may be less than willing to deal with kids or  rooms full of strangers. Provide a special quiet place with a blanket and fresh water for your pets to hide to when things get too stressful.