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Holiday Safety: Tips from the AVMA

We thought these tips from the AVMA would help you to keep your pet safe this holiday season.

There are many holiday dangers for pets, these dangers range from human food to decorations and even fear of guests! Here are just a few tips to help keep your pet safe:

  • Chocolate: 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.
  • Sweets and Baked Goods: 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.
  • Turkey and Turkey Skin: can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are among the common holiday plants that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them. Poinsettias can be troublesome as well.

To read more, please visit the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Quick action can save lives. If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call Fort Caroline Animal Clinic at 904-744-1100 or Affiliated Veterinary Emergency Clinic (904-642-5911) immediately. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 1-888-426-4435. Signs of pet distress include sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.