Ho Ho No Nos: Holiday Tips for Pet Owners

Holiday Pet Care

‘Tis the season to be jolly, invite all your loved ones over for festivities, and to stuff yourself silly with a myriad of tasty treats, pies and hearty dishes. Of course at this time of the year you’ll want to include the most important (at least they see it that way) members of your family in the festivities: the furry ones. While it may be tempting to want to include your pets in all your holiday traditions there are some seasonal treats that it’s best to avoid. We understand accidents happen and sometimes, your furry friend could get a hold of something they’re not supposed to have so if that happens, come see us at ZippiVet for any of your animal hospital needs in Austin, TX!

At the Dinner Table

Turkey and the trimmings: While that plump, juicy turkey emerging from the oven may cause more than one guest’s eyes to widen in delight, it’s important not to let your furry friends sample that tasty bird. Cooked turkey has brittle bones which splinter easily and can cause choking, tears in the digestive tract and blockages. Additionally, gravies and fat trimmings are high in fat and sodium and can upset stomachs.


Nuts: The chestnuts may be roasting on the open fire, but they should be nowhere near your pet. Many holiday desserts and stuffings contain nuts that can prove hazardous to pets. Macadamia nuts and walnuts are particularly toxic and can result in vomiting, tremors, lethargy and seizures.


Candies and Chocolate: Feel free to laden your table with chocolatey sweets and trim the tree with candy canes but keep them out of reach of cats and dogs. Chocolate contains both caffeine and methylxanthine, while candy often has corn syrup and xylitol which can cause vomiting and seizures. Just like humans, feeding your pets excessive sweets can also result in diabetes and tooth decay. Watch out for wrappers as well which can be a holiday hazard.


Cranberry Sauces, Fruitcakes, and Stuffings: Some of our favorite traditional holiday dishes are often the most dangerous for pets. All three are usually high in sugars and can contain raisins, onions, garlic and sage which can be extremely toxic to pets.

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree

Decorations: While you’re decking your halls and adorning your Christmas tree, make sure to keep the furry members of your family in mind. Dangling ornaments and tinsel can make tantalizing toys for your pets as they swing about with their bright, shiny colors. However, if they should happen to swallow one of these ornamentations the pieces could cause an obstruction in their stomach, tear their organs and result in sickness and possible surgery.


Oh, Mistletoe: Holiday themed plants including holly, mistletoe, pine trees, and poinsettia are beautiful natural decorations for your home, but they can be particularly dangerous for your pets. Holly and mistletoe in are highly toxic, and ingestion can cause a severe drop in blood pressure, breathing problems, seizures, and even death. While poinsettia and pine are not toxic, consuming large amounts can result in illness and the pine needles can puncture intestines.


Gift Wrapping: As you open up presents from loved ones, make sure to discard of wrapping paper and ribbons properly. Ribbons, strings, and seasonal bows make for a fun toy and decoration for your pet, but accidental ingestion can result in intestinal blockage or choking – which will require immediate vet attention. We love our patients, but we’d prefer to spend the holidays with our own families!


Tips for Holiday Celebrations Safe for Your Pets

  • Ask guests not to feed table food or leftovers to your pets
  • Decorate with your pet in mind: keep ornaments and tinsel out of reach and keep lights and cords tucked away
  • Discard sharp plastic wrappings and gift wrappings immediately
  • Make sure the trash is secure from late night rummagers
  • If your pet is getting a visit from Santa make sure to get vet approved treats and toys such as chew toys, treat dispensing toys, balls too large to swallow, or catnip stuffed toys.

We wish you and your pets a happy and safe holiday season. If you have any questions about keeping your pets healthy over the holidays, give ZippiVet a call!

Your Pet’s Fear Of Thunderstorms And Fireworks–How To Help

Ah, the sounds of summer are in the air with 4th of July fireworks and thunderstorms! These loud noises can make some pets anxious and stressed–not understanding that they are actually safe. If your four-legged friend suffers from this type of fear, keep reading. Our tips can help your pet feel less stressed from his or her firework and thunderstorm anxiety.

Noise phobias are more common in dogs, but cats can also demonstrate signs of fear or anxiety related to noise. To help your pet this summer – and prepare for the Fourth of July – follow our guide to managing your pet’s fear of thunderstorms and fireworks. Continue…