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Hazards to Pets

Toxins/Poisons

  • Laundry and dishwasher detergent pods are dangerous to pets. When a pet bites into a pod, the detergents are forcefully expelled and may be easily aspirated or swallowed, often in large and concentrated amounts.
  • Make sure to keep Halloween candy out of your pets’ reach. All chocolate (especially dark chocolate) can be dangerous or even lethal for dogs. Gum and candy often contains xylitol (an artificial sweetener), which is also poisonous.
  • Avoid a visit to the veterinary emergency hospital during the holiday season! Keep pets away from the kitchen, don’t let friends and family feed them and prevent access to the trash.
  • The Thanksgiving foods most dangerous to pets include: grapes and raisins, xylitol (an artificial sweetener), fatty table scraps, bones and turkey legs, onion, leeks, chives, garlic, unbaked yeast bread dough and alcohol.
  • Make sure mistletoe and holly berries are out of reach for your pet(s). They can cause gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, nausea, diarrhea), cardiovascular problems and lethargy.
  • Lilies even in small amounts can be lethal for cats. They are attracted to their smell, taste and texture. The petals, leaves, stems and pollen are very poisonous. If you suspect your kitty has ingested any part of a lily get her to the vet immediately.
  • Grapes, raisins and currants can cause kidney failure in dogs. It can occur if they are consumed raw or even in cooked products such as cookies, fruit cake and snack bars.
  • Flea and tick products for dogs should never be used on cats. This includes flea and tick products applied topically as well when a cat ingests a product while grooming itself or other pets. They can cause tremors and seizures and can be deadly to cats. 
  • If you think your pet has injested something toxic, don’t give them anything or induce vomiting without first speaking to your vet. It may be contraindicated or even detrimental.
  • A medication that does one thing for people does not necessarily do the same for our pets. Never give your medication (or any medications prescribed for a two-legged family member) to your pet without first consulting your vet.
  • Xylitol is a low calorie sugar substitute which is found in some sugarless gum, candies, some peanut butters and diet cookies. While safe for humans, in dogs it can cause a severe drop in blood glucose as well as liver failure.
  • A pet’s prognosis is always better when a toxicity is reported immediately. Don’t wait to see if your pet shows symptoms before calling for help. Calling right away is safer for your pet and could help you save on treatment costs in the long run.
  • While non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspririn) are safe for people, even one or two pills can cause serious harm to a pet. In dogs, they can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.

Holiday Hazards

  • Safely confine your cats and dogs in the house on Halloween. Scary trick-or-treaters can frighten pets, which may result in them escaping out the front door.
  • In the winter as the days are getting shorter; make sure you’re visible on late-afternoon or early-evening walks. Replace batteries in flashlights and invest in reflective vests: one for you and one for your dog.
  • Don’t leave animals unattended outdoors around Halloween. Cruel pranksters can hurt your animals, especially black cats. Make sure yours is safely inside!
  • After a holiday meal, don’t take a nap! Snap on your dog’s leash and go for a walk. It will be great exercise for you after a large meal and a great treat for your pooch.
  • Candles and pets don’t mix. There’s no telling where a wagging pet’s tail will end up! Your best option is to use battery-operated candles that look like the real thing.
  • If possible block pets from holiday gifts and decorations. Ribbon, tinsel, ornaments and chocolate are all dangerous if ingested. Strings of lights and extension cords are also prime targets and should be unplugged when not in use.
  • Make sure to keep Halloween candy out of your pets’ reach. All chocolate (especially dark chocolate) can be dangerous or even lethal for dogs. Gum and candy often contains xylitol (an artificial sweetener), which is also poisonous.
  • Avoid a visit to the veterinary emergency hospital during the holiday season! Keep pets away from the kitchen, don’t let friends and family feed them and prevent access to the trash.
  • The Thanksgiving foods most dangerous to pets include: grapes and raisins, xylitol (an artificial sweetener), fatty table scraps, bones and turkey legs, onion, leeks, chives, garlic, unbaked yeast bread dough and alcohol.
  • Make sure mistletoe and holly berries are out of reach for your pet(s). They can cause gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, nausea, diarrhea), cardiovascular problems and lethargy.
  • Noise from fireworks are a problem for many cats and dogs. If you anticipate your pet having a problem with noise on July 4th, please call our office to discuss solutions.