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Holiday Hazards for Pets

December 15, 2019

The holidays are coming up quick! This can be a dangerous time of year for our animal companions. Fluffy and Fido are both playful and curious. Those traits are cute, but they can also get our furry pals into trouble. You’ll want to take some precautions to keep your four-legged buddy safe and happy this holiday season. A Roanoke, VA vet discusses holiday hazards for pet owners to be aware of below.


Holly, ivy, poinsettias, mistletoe, and other seasonal plants are toxic to dogs and cats. If you get real plants, put them in spots your pet can’t reach. Christmas trees—particularly real ones—are also hazardous, as the needles can cause serious intestinal blockages if ingested. The water itself is another concern, as it may contain toxic residue from chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides. Cover the water bowl, and vacuum up any fallen needles right away. If your pet ingests any of these toxic plants, contact our Veterinary Critical Care services immediately.


Many of our furry patients are very, very enthusiastic about food, and have no qualms about begging. If you want to give Fluffy or Fido a special treat, offer them some plain, cooked meat, fish, or poultry, without the skin, bones, or fat. Many people foods are toxic to dogs and cats, so be careful. Never give your pet anything that contains garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; chocolate; alcohol; caffeine; nuts; avocado; or grapes, currants, or raisins. Raw dough and yeast are also unsafe, as is anything that contains xylitol.


Keep your pet’s safety in mind as you are decorating. Tinsel, ribbons, ornaments and ornament hooks, electric lights, and anything small or sharp are potential hazards. Candles, potpourri burners, heaters, and lit fireplaces are also dangerous. For more information on how to keep your pet safe from fire hazards, check out our article on Pet Fire Safety Tips.


Dogs and cats all have their own personalities. Some are very anxious, and can get frightened by a loud noises and strangers. Fluffy and Fido also tend to do best on steady routines, so disruptions in their daily schedules can also upset them. Cats should have a comfy place to retreat to. As for Fido, you may want to put him in his crate or a quiet back room when you suspect things are going to get noisy. Regardless, remember to take time to play with your pet, and just hang out with them.

Happy Holidays! Please reach out to us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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