It’s the most wonderful time of the year—until your pet gets into the chocolate, drinks the Christmas tree water or plays too happy with the tinsel.  Big Bay Animal Hospital shares with you some holiday items that are hazardous to pets.  If you think your pet has been into some of these holiday hijinks, contact us or the Huronia Veterinary Emergency Clinic @ 705-722-0377.

  1. Turkey Leftovers –Even if your dog gives you those “sad puppy dog” eyes, resist the urge to share your turkey dinner with him.  Rich, fatty foods can cause illnesses like pancreatitis and the turkey bones are especially dangerous as they can splinter and puncture internal organs.
  2. Sugar-Free Baked Goods –Holiday cookies are delightful, but if your baked goods contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol, this can be frightful.  Xylitol toxicity can cause vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures and even liver failure.
  3. Chocolate –Most of us know that chocolate is toxic to our four-legged friends.  Although all chocolate should be avoided, dark chocolate is the greatest risk.  Visit or call the Huronia Veterinary Emergency or you can contact the ASPCA poison hotline  1-888-426-4435 (fees may apply) to determine if the amount or type of chocolate ingested is harmful.
  4. Holiday Plants — Poinsettias and Christmas Cactus are relatively harmless and may result in irritating reactions.  Mistletoe and Holly, however, can be toxic- causing vomiting and diarrhea & heart arrhythmias in dogs and cats.  Keep these plants out of reach of pets and children.
  5. Alcohol –While spirits may make the holidays bright, keep your pets away from the punch & eggnog.  Alcohol depresses the nervous system and can cause vomiting, disorientation, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures.
  6. Tinsel & Ribbons — Holiday decorations are shiny and pretty, but they can cause serious problems for dogs and cats.  If ingested they can cut up the digestive tract and cause intestinal obstructions.
  7. Electrical Cords — Some animals love to chew cords and with all the extra holiday lights plugged in there is increased hazards.  To protect your pets turn off the lights and unplug the cords when you aren’t at home.
  8.  Christmas Trees — The pinnacle of most living rooms this time of year is the tree.  Your tree needs to be properly secured and fragile ornaments should be kept off the low lying branches.  Don’t add any fertilizer to your tree water and keep pets away from stagnant water in your tree stand.
  9. The Hustle & bustle — The holiday rush may be exciting for you and your family, but constant visitors and activity can be stressful to your pets.  Make sure they have a quiet space to retreat to or try Feliway or Adaptil–a non-drug approach to comfort and reduce stress in your pets.

Big Bay Animal Hospital wishes everyone a safe and healthy holiday season.  We will be closed for Christmas on December 24th, 25th, and 26th and then December 31st & January 1st for New Years.

Seasons Greetings from our Care team.