How Your Pet Can Have a Healthy Holiday

The holiday season is usually filled with warm sweaters, hot cocoa, and pretty lights —but oddly enough, some of our age-old traditions may not be suitable for all of our family members to take part in! There are many substances and plants that humans can be exposed to that could cost your pet a healthy holiday if ingested.

During the holiday season, many of us love to adorn our homes with festive decorations. Personally, my favourites are the garland on the staircase railing and a big beautiful tree lighting up the living room. Others also enjoy decorating their homes with plants such as poinsettias, Christmas roses, amaryllises, lilies, yew, and, mistletoes. However, all of these plants are very toxic if your cat or dog ingested them. If you still want to keep these plants in your home, it might be a good idea to keep them out of reach!

In addition to many houses being decorated, all the stores during the month of December are geared towards the holidays —especially grocery stores. It feels as though every corner has panettone (an Italian holiday STAPLE) and Santa-shaped chocolates. But no matter what the shape or the flavour, chocolate and raisins are both toxic for cats and dogs!

Now onto one of the most important parts of the holidays … grandma’s cooking. While we all get so excited for the lasagna and turkey, some items should not be included on your pet’s holiday menu. As much as garlic and onion give everything flavour, those ingredients will not agree with your pets digestive system. Also, as tempting as seeing little Fluffy have a whole turkey leg to himself, bones of any kind should also not be ingested by your pet.

One thing that can be a challenge during the holidays are the things out of our control; such as your uncle telling you the same story three times or the weather! While snow makes everything look serene and picturesque it could also be a little dangerous. Without salt on the ground and antifreeze in your car, the ice is not something you want to encounter during the holiday season. While anti-freeze and other snow melting products are very useful they are very toxic for animals. Please be cautious when you store these products and pay close attention to your pet while you go for your walk.

All in all, the holiday season can be a very safe and joyous time for you and your furry family members, and, nothing feels better than to be surrounded by the ones you love!

On behalf of all the doctors and staff at Northview Pet Hospital … Happy holidays and have a wonderful new year!

DISCLAIMER: This is not a complete list of toxic substances for pets. If your pet ingests something you are unsure about, please feel free to call the Ontario Poison Centre at (416) 813-5900.

If your pet has ingested a toxic substance, please feel free to give us a call and take advantage of our emergency services.

If your emergency is outside of regular office hours, please visit our Emergencies page and go to the nearest emergency vet clinic to you.