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Ways to keep your pet safe this holiday season!

Gilbert the dog with reindeer antlers on!

Christmas and the holidays are a fun time for all of us, but it isn't fun when your pet ends up getting sick and spending time at the Vet Clinic or Emergency Room.

There are many dangers associated with the holidays for pets. With some careful planning, most of them can be avoided.

The Christmas Tree

Pretty to look at, and oh so tempting to chew on the ornaments, tinsel or climb. Broken ornaments can cause painful lacerations. Chewing on the lights can cause electrical shock. Eating tinsel can cause potentially fatal intestinal obstruction. Be careful with ribbons on packages - they can also cause intestinal obstruction. Home made salt dough ornaments can cause sodium overdose when eaten . Please don't allow your pet to drink the Christmas tree water. Preservatives in the water can cause many problems.


Candles can cause painful burns or singed whiskers. Keep all candles away from your pets. The new battery operated LED candles are great for homes with pets.

Japanese Yew is toxic to pets

Many holiday plants can cause serious problems for curious pets. Poinsettias, Holly, Christmas Cactus, Mistletoe and Amaryllis can all cause stomach upset with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The Poinsettia is not as toxic as myths have it. Lilies are very toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure. Lilies are frequently found in holiday bouquets.

The Japanese Yew is the most toxic holiday plant (pictured to the right). The Japanese Yew is found in centerpieces, garlands and wreaths. All parts of the Japanese Yew are toxic to animals when eaten. It causes fatal heart rhythm abnormalities, low heart rate, difficulty breathing and sudden death.

Holiday Food

Everyone knows Chocolate is toxic to pets. Baking chocolate is the most toxic, milk and white chocolate are less toxic. Chocolate frequently comes with raisins or macadamia nuts, and they are toxins in and of themselves. Wrappers can cause intestinal blockages. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in some chocolates and candies. Xylitol is incredibly toxic to dogs and can cause low blood sugar and liver failure.

Raw yeast dough is very tempting to dogs and can cause bloat. Be sure to keep you dog away from raw yeast dough.

Holiday visitors

Overnight visitors frequently travel with medications in zippy bags. Be sure to keep these medications out of your pets reach. It is best to travel with your medications in child proof containers labeled with the medication name, dosage and directions.

Keep your holidays fun and festive by minimizing these threats to your pets!

Questions? Call us at (630) 859-0471 or Email us at

Clancy Claws

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