Gardens Animal Hospital
Holiday Pet Safety
Plan in advance
Make sure you know how to get to your 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic before there’s an emergency.
Always keep these numbers posted in an easy-to-find location in case of emergencies:
Our phone number: 561-622-6300
24/7 emergency veterinary clinic: Northlake Pet ER 561-691-9999
ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 1-888-426-4435 (A fee will apply.)
Keep people food away from pets. If you want to share holiday treats with your pets, make or buy treats formulated just for them. The following people foods are especially hazardous for pets:
Table scraps – including gravy and meat fat –also should be kept away from pets. Many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets, including onions, raisins and grapes. During the holidays, when our own diets tend toward extra-rich foods, table scraps can be especially fattening and hard for animals to digest and can cause pancreatitis.
Turkey and turkey skin – sometimes even in small amounts – can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis.
Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.
Chocolate is an essential part of the holidays for many people, but it is toxic to dogs and cats. Although the toxicity can vary based on the type of chocolate, the size of your pet, and the amount they ate, it’s safer to consider all chocolate off limits for pets. Do not wrap chocolate and put the chocolate under a tree or where your pet has access to it.
Other sweets and baked goods also should be kept out of reach. Not only are they often too rich for pets; an artificial sweetener often found in baked goods, candy and chewing gum, xylitol, has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
Tinsel and other holiday decorations also can be tempting for pets to eat. Consuming them can cause intestinal blockages, sometimes requiring surgery. Breakable ornaments or decorations can cause injuries.
Electric lights can cause burns when a curious pet chews the cords.
Candles are attractive to pets as well as people. Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in a fire.
Potpourris should be kept out of reach of inquisitive pets. Liquid potpourris pose risks because they contain essential oils and cationic detergents that can severely damage your pet’s mouth, eyes and skin. Solid potpourris could cause problems if eaten.
Ornaments can cause hazards for pets. Broken ornaments can cause injuries, and ingested ornaments can cause intestinal blockage or even toxicity. Keep any homemade ornaments, particularly those made from salt-dough or other food-based materials, out of reach of pets.
Christmas trees can tip over if pets climb on them or try to play with the lights and ornaments. Consider tying your tree to the ceiling or a door frame using fishing line to secure it.
Water additives for Christmas trees can be hazardous to your pets. Do not add aspirin, sugar, or anything to the water for your tree if you have pets in the house.
When you leave the house
Unplug decorations while you're not around. Cats, dogs and other pets are often tempted to chew electrical cords.
Take out the trash to make sure your pets can’t get to it, especially if it contains any food or food scraps.