Holiday Pet Safety

While certainly one of the most fulfilling (and delicious) times of the year, the winter holidays create a number of hazards in the home. NW Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital is happy to share some useful tips to keep your pet safe this holiday season.

  1. Keep people food out of the reach of your pet and ask your guests to do the same.
  2. Make sure your pet doesn’t have access to treats, especially those containingchocolatexylitolgrapes/raisins, garlic, onions, currants, uncooked bread, high fat food (butter/cream), or other toxic foods. Ingesting them can result in upset stomachs, heart arrhythmia, kidney failure and seizures.
  3. Don’t leave your pet alone in the room with lit candles, possibly creating a fire hazard.
  4. Keep holiday plants (especially hollymistletoelilies and poinsettia) out of reach of pets, they are highly toxic.
  5. Consider leaving the tinsel off your tree if you have a cat, as it can lead to a potential intestinal obstruction if ingested.
  6. Secure your Christmas tree to keep it from falling over if your dog bumps it or your cat climbs it; hanging lemon-scented car air fresheners in the tree may deter your cat from climbing it.
  7. Certain holiday decorations can be dangerous. Lights, glass ornaments and snow globes may contain toxic chemicals, such as ethylene glycol, that cause internal irritation and bleeding. Owners should avoid placing decorations where their pet can chew on or eat them.
  8. If your pet is excitable or scared when you have company, consider putting your pet in another room with toys, a comfortable bed, etc., or providing a safe place for your pet to escape the excitement, such as a kennel, crate, perching place, scratching post shelf or hiding place.
  9. Watch the alcoholic drinks, unattended drinks may result in a dangerously drunk pet! It doesn’t take much for small animals to get alcohol poisoning.

We always hope to prevent our pets from ingesting or contacting a potential poison but if they do, it is important to know what is toxic and what isn’t. If you are ever concerned, please call us at 503.427.9148 or contact the Pet Poison Help Line with questions.