Holiday Hazards Harmful to Pets

posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 in From the Mailbox of Dr. M

This month, I’m going to give us all a little refresher on different foods and objects that can be dangerous to our companions this time of year. It is Thanksgiving week! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and I think the reason behind this is the deep rooted traditions that come from my family during this week. I am very much a Christmas fan as well, but I try and make sure I give Thanksgiving its due justice before breaking out the Christmas décor! Though this time of year brings about many great sights, sounds, and not to mention food, it’s also a good time to remind ourselves of the dangers that can be posed to our pets.

Foods Toxic to Animals

Grapes- this fruit is known to cause sudden onset kidney failure, even a very small amount can cause 

                significant damage

Turkey- Foods high in fats such as this can lead to pancreatitis

Onion & garlic- Can cause hemolytic anemia, a disease in which the red blood cells are destroyed

Chewing gum- Can cause blockages and xylitol can drastically drop blood sugar levels

Chocolate (especially dark & bakers type)- Causes an accelerated heart rate & arrhythmias leading to  


Alcohol- Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system 

depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death

Bones- from turkey leftovers especially, can cause obstruction or choking hazards

Holiday Hazards

Ornaments- Broken pieces, or small objects that can be chewed or swallowed can cause blockages or if sharp enough, lacerations to skin, mouth, etc.

Electrical cords- Chewing on cords leads to burns, electric shock, and death.

Tinsel- If swallowed, can bind intestines, or cause linear foreign bodies, especially in cats


Winter Weather Hazards

Antifreeze- This product is very tasty to animals, yet very very deadly. It will cause kidney failure, leading

                       to multi organ failure in a short amount of time

Ice melt- If you have pets, make sure you purchase the ice melt that is safe for animal’s paws. Certain ice

  melts can be corrosive to the pads of their feet, leaving larges sores.

Freezing temperatures- For obvious reasons, cold temperatures are deadly to animals that do not have the appropriate shelter to provide a warm dry place, but also remember that fresh unfrozen water needs to be available at all times to animals, even in the winter months!


I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. May you spend it with those who mean the most to you, and remember to appreciate all the little things in life that make up the bigger picture! Next month’s blog post will be tackling the topic of the “Christmas Gift Puppy/Kitten.”