With the holiday season approaching there are some potential new hazards introduced into your home that pose a serious threat to your pets if ingested. Being aware of these top four dangers could save you a trip to the veterinary emergency room.

Top 4 Holiday Toxins

  • Liquid Potpourri– Cats are more at risk as they are curious and even a few licks can result in severe chemical burns, fever, difficulty breathing and tremors. Dogs aren’t as sensitive, but it’s better to be safe.
  • Certain Plants– Poinsettias get a bad wrap around the holidays but the truth is that they are only mildly toxic. What you need to watch out for are Lilies and Mistletoe. The ingestion of one to two leaves or flower petals of a Lily is enough to cause sudden kidney failure in cats. Mistletoe can cause vomiting and diarrhea and even heart arrhythmias if ingested.
  • Tinsel– If you own a cat, its best to skip the tinsel. What looks like a shiny toy to your cat can prove deadly if ingested. Tinsel can cause severe damage to a cat’s intestinal tract causing rupture and ultimately expensive abdominal surgery.
  • Holiday Foods– Chocolate and other foods (such as onions, garlic, grapes/raisins/currants, etc.) are highly toxic. Holidays mean hot cocoa by the fire, boxes of chocolates and goodies, fruitcakes (that may contain raisins or currants). Also, leftover, fatty meat scraps can produce severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) leading to abdominal pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

Paws to consider: Recently, imported snow globes were found to contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol.) As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze when ingested by a cat or a tablespoon or two for a dog (depending on their size), can be fatal.

Beyond the holiday season there are common household toxins that you should be aware of. According to www.petpoisonhelpline.com, the 10 most common toxins found in households for dogs and cats are:

Top 10 Household Toxins For Cats:

  • Topical spot-on insecticides
  • Household Cleaners
  • Antidepressants
  • Lilies
  • Insoluble Oxalate Plants (e.g., Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, etc.)
  • Any Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug
  • Cold and Flu Medication (e.g., Tylenol)
  • Glow Sticks
  • ADD/ADHD Medications/Amphetamines
  • Mouse and Rat Poison

Top 10 Household Toxins For Dogs:

  • Certain foods such as: Chocolate, grapes/raisins/currants, onions, garlic, pits from fruit or avocados
  • Mouse and Rat Poisons
  • Vitamins and Minerals (e.g., Vitamin D3, iron, etc.)
  • Any Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug
  • Cardiac Medications
  • Cold and Allergy Medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Xylitol
  • Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
  • Caffeine Pills

Paws to consider: We recommend keeping all medications (veterinary or human) up high and locked in a cabinet.

Taking precautions with pets during these festive times can help ensure that you and your family will enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season! Give us a call and we will send you a pet poison hotline brochure with more information and stickers that list the top 10 toxins in dogs and cats!