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Holiday Health Hazards - December 2011

As the holidays draw near, there is an increase in holiday parties and gatherings. These festive times are full of joy and cheer, but can be detrimental to your pet's safety. There are many holiday treats that can put your pet at serious health risks.

  • The skin from poultry contains a high fat content which can cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) in dogs. Poultry meat and stuffing can also cause gastro intestinal upsets.
  • Chocolate is considered a main ingredient in almost all holiday desert dishes. However, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which is toxic to pets. Along with chocolate, gum, candy, or anything sweetened with Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Bones from main dishes splinter easily and may cause intestinal perforation.
  • Holiday appetizers also need to be kept far from sniffing noses and furry paws. Grapes and raisins are delicious additions to finger food, but even small amounts may cause kidney failure in dogs and cats.

Other Holiday Hazards:

  • Festive decorations and ribbons pose potential problems for choking and internal injuries. 

  • Also keep in mind that many holiday plants are toxic. Common toxic plants include: Holly, Poinsettia, Mistletoe, English Ivy, Aloe and Yucca.

Please be mindful of these health hazards, and you and your pet will have a joyous and merry holiday!