Holiday Hazards for Your Pet


Although a yummy treat for us, Christmas baking and chocolates can be bad for your pet! Chocolate can be toxic to dogs with signs ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to seizing, coma and death.  Baking chocolate is the most toxic to dogs as it contains the highest concentration of theobromine (the toxic ingredient in chocolate) with milk chocolate and white chocolate containing much lower levels. If your dog has gotten into chocolate, call the vet immediately and they will tell you what to do! Even if you think the amount may be insignificant, it is always better safe than sorry!


We all love a good turkey feast! Even our furry friends may try to snag a seat at the table! Feeding table scraps are not recommended – this can often cause gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis or just overall discomfort of your pet. NEVER feed bones from your food to your pet – cooked bones can shatter and cause GI perforations and/or blockages. The last thing we want is Fido on the operating table Christmas day!


Strategically decorate your tree so that the ornaments that Fido might want to eat are out of sight (so they are hopefully out of mind!). Make sure your most precious and breakable ornaments are high enough that your cats cannot knock them down. For those who still use tinsel, leave the first few feet bare to ensure your pet is not ingesting the tinsel – we would not want to see a sparkly tinsel blockage!


Through the winter we always want to keep our sidewalks safe and ice free, but be careful which ice melter you use! Some can be very irritating to pet’s paw pads and may cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested. Make sure to pick an ice melter that is labelled as pet-friendly – our favourite is “Safe Paw”! Even if you don’t have pets of your own, it always nice to make your sidewalk dog-friendly for your neighbours.

Have a pet emergency? Give your vet a call! For after hours, contact your local emergency vet clinic!

Written by Jessica Sirovyak, RAHT