Sunday, 2 December 2012

Keep Your Pet Safe This Christmas- Avoid these common hazards

The Hazardous Days of Christmas. Keep your pet safe!       

This information kindly composed by Dr. Watters and Dr. Pittaway of Golf links Veterinarian Hospital

27 Legend Court, Unit 1A

Ancaster, ON

Tel: 905 304 PETS


This common toxin is known to cause acute kidney failure even when consumed in small amounts. Some of the first signs noticed may include: Lethargy, weakness, and increased drinking/urination.  Immediate emergency treatment is required following ingestion of antifreeze.  Antifreeze poisoning can be fatal.  Keep out of the reach of pets and children.


Chocolate - No chocolate (or coffee gift packs) under the tree!

Keep all chocolate away from our furry friends, especially dark or baking chocolate. The seriousness of the reaction depends on the amount and type of chocolate consumed and size of the pet.  Increased thirst, vomiting, restlessness and seizures are among the signs to watch for.


Foreign Objects/Decorations

Toys, ribbon, tree ornaments- all of these items can get stuck within the intestinal tract of pets. – Often requiring emergency surgery. Take a minute to ensure your home is pet proof


Grapes and Raisins (and Onions are a no no too!)

Unfortunately, these sweet treats can cause kidney failure and sometimes death in our pets


Macadamia nuts

There is an unidentified toxin in these nuts that causes weak legs incoordination and vomiting.  Ingestion is not usually fatal but is stressful for both pet and owner.



The most traditional Christmas plant, poinsettias will cause vomiting and diarrhea if eaten.  Protect your pet and put these plants out of reach or do not bring them into the house.



Ingestion of Mistletoe can cause vomiting and diarrhea.


Left overs/turkey/stuffing/fruitcake

Feeding holiday left overs to our pets sure is tempting; however, sudden changes in diets can cause diarrhea and vomiting. High fat and sugar and toxic onions in turkey and stuffing can make your pet very ill. Do not give in to the begging. Give doggy treats to the doggies and keep food out of reach to avoid “Christmas belly” in your pet.


Sugar Free Gum

Sugar free gum contains Xylitol, an artificial sweetener. Xylitol fools the body into thinking the blood sugar is high and the body responds by secreting excess insulin. This can lead to a potentially fatal sudden drop in blood sugar. If you suspect your pet has consumed sugar free gum – see a vet immediately. Keep the purses and coats of your guests out of reach. Dogs steal these treats from purses and coat pockets!

Wishing you and your pet a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season      


  1. I had no idea about the grapes, raisins and onions! Thanks for posting.

  2. The worst thing would happen to pet this Christmas is getting into fireworks.

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