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Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree… don’t eat that!

Decorating for the holidays is always something to look forward. However, we all must make sure that it is also safe for our furry friends to make sure our holidays are great and we hopefully do not have to take a trip to our emergency vet!

But it’s the holidays, what could really be that harmful? Well, that is a great question so let’s talk about some of these hazards to look out for every year.

The 4 things that can hazardous around the holidays for our best friends are food, decorations, plants, and large gatherings. You maybe wondering how large gatherings have fallen into this category, well read on and let’s find out.


  • Christmas trees are the 1st plant to be aware of and not because it’s toxic. Instead, because our friend always loves the Christmas trees so you want to make sure that they are secured tightly so they’d not fall on your furry friend no matter how big or small! As well, you would not want the tree water to spill where your friend can lick it up as the water can be filled with bacteria that will give your friend an upset tummy or diarrhea.
  • Next is Holly & Mistletoe. As we all love some nice holly and mistletoe around the holiday season it is best to make sure it is kept where furry friends can not get it. Holly if ingested can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe, if ingested can cause cardiovascular (heart) problems and gastrointestinal (GI) upset. If you choose to use lilies for anything this holiday, remember that these plants are very toxic to our kitty friends! They can cause them to go into kidney failure. If you want to be safe, you’re better off getting some artificial versions of these plants. Make sure you’re not spending your holidays at your emergency vet.


  • Tinsel is great, it is so sparkly and jut makes things so much better. Unfortunately, our kitty friends agree! This because a toy cats love to chase and put in their mouths. However, if they play with this and swallow it then you soon have an obstructed GI, severe dehydration, vomiting, and can lead to needing an expensive surgery!
  • A cold snowy night, a nice hallmark movie and some hot chocolate. Sounds like the perfect time to turn off the lights and light up the candles. Now there is nothing wrong with this, the issue comes when the candles get left alone. Make sure to always blow out your candles so your friends do not burn themselves or knock them over.
  • Wires. This could be electrical wires, ornament wire just about any wire your pet will get curious about. While I do not need to explain why a wire is bad, be it burns to the esophagus or impacting the GI tract, sometimes a little reminder is good for this season.


  • So, everyone knows animals can’t have chocolate, but make sure you are also keeping away any sweets with Xylitol in them. However, you may think oh they have been good all year I need not worry, but with the extra food around it can become more tempting than normal. Make sure all garbage is covered, no plates are left unattended, and any leftovers are placed in sealed containers and out of reach.
  • The holidays are great for getting together and sometimes having a few adult drinks with friends. Just keep in mind that you should never leave these drinks where your furry friends can try them. If they get in this, they can become very ill, lethargic, and go into a coma resulting in respiratory issues.

Remember, Our furry best friends can not always enjoy the same things as us.

Large gatherings

  • Make sure that yours and any of your companies’ medicines are behind closed doors or zipped up and put away and out of reach of our kitties and doggies.
  • Make sure there is a nice quiet space for your friends to go be by themselves incase the gathering becomes too overwhelming. No one likes not having a safe space.
  • Beware the door! The door itself will do no harm, but this is the time of year that people gather and that door is always opening and closing. This means many more opportunities for our friends to escape outside and get lost. Make sure the door is always closed behind you and that your guests know to not leave it open. Even if they have never tried to go out before, they might with all the new noise and people.
  • New Year’s gathering can also be terrifying and dangerous for pets. Confetti string can get eaten and then impact their GI leading to surgery, Noise poppers and be tool loud especially for sensitive ears, and fireworks can be TERRIFYING. Make sure that when it is close to midnight that your friend is in an escape proof room and just be aware of how they are feeling as things happen around them. This being said, if your pet is anxious and needs medications to get through the fireworks, make sure to speak to your veterinarian at least 2 weeks before hand and if you need a refill make sure you call it in at least 2 days before the event. This way you will always be prepared.

You still want to include your friends in this holiday spirit of course so what is the best way?
Honestly, one of the best things to stuff your companions’ stockings are toys that are as indestructible as you can get. Kong is a very good brand for this kind of item and can be stuffed with healthy food and treats! Our smaller kitty friends could get a ball to play with, a small catnip toy, or an interactive cat dancer. The important thing for this season is no string or rope toys as they can obstruct our friends GI tract.


Resources: Veterinary Partner:



Written by: Ashley G, VT



Need a Tic Tac? How's your pet's teeth?

We all know what dog breath is, but how normal is this bad breath? Is it really just dog breath or is it something more? Let's talk about it to help you determine if you should be talking to your veterinarian about your pet's breath and oral health. We can agree that all dogs have "dog breath" that does not smell great, but sometimes if you notice a change in that breath (especially when it is a severe change) it might be the first sign your furry friend needing a dental cleaning. It is suggested to book a consult with you regular veterinarian at this time to get to the bottom of it. Now what other signs with bad breath might give you a good idea that you need a dental? excessive drooling not wanting to eat, especially dry food, or to play with chew toys & dropping food changes in behavior, such as being more aggressive chronic sneezing abnormal discharge from the nose chewing with one side of their mouth or favoring one side of their mouth pawing at or rubbing their muzzle bleeding from their mouth chronic eye infections or drainage with no exact cause or cure inability to open or close mouth discoloured tooth/teeth and a mass or growth in mouth, which happens to be more obvious usually. If you notice any of these signs alone or with your furry friends bad breath, then it may be time to book a dental and have your friends teeth looked at!   But wait! Why would my pet need a dental? I have never heard of a pet needing to have dentals! Well, I explain this more in my previous post about what dentals are and why they are good to have for your furry friends to live longer, happier lives. However stories make everything a bit more relatable! Meet Cujo: Cujo is a 8 year old mixed breed medium sized dog. He loved everything and loved life. All he wanted to do was snuggle everyone. However, his breath was so bad that no one wanted him in their face for good reason. Him and his owner moved into my house. Cujo became great friends with my own dogs and every time I would bring them home toys and goodies I would also bring home things for Cujo too. My own dogs would take their toys right away but Cujo would never touch them. We also noticed him being slow to eat his food and would growl anytime he is was picked up. It was decided to bring him in to have his mouth examined.   At the vet: Cujo went to the vet and it was decided he would benefit from a dental, but it was suspected he would just need to do a scale and polish and that hopefully that would eliminate or resolve the the bad breath. This was estimated by an oral exam revealing the teeth had moderate tarter with no major bone loss or problems noted.   Day of Dental: On the day of Cujo's dental it was done with general anesthesia to get a good look in his mouth and prevent him from feeling any pain. Upon further inspection of the mouth, it was discovered that 6 teeth actually needed to be extracted. All dentals should have dental radiographs included when you go in and this is the reason why. The very last tooth that was extracted was a little mobile. It was less mobile than the other teeth but just enough to have us question it and decided upon extraction. Upon extraction it was discovered that this tooth had a large tooth root abscess, meaning the abscess was under the gums and not obvious. This is one of the many reasons dental radiographs are so important as they will show us things undiscoverable to the eye such as a root tooth abscess! Up to 80% of dental disease is below the gum line! After all this he was woken back up and given medications to help him heal and feel better.   After dental: Immediately after the dental Cujo's breath was significantly better! He started to growl less when we interacted with him in ways such as picking him up or playing with him. He started to eat his food more promptly when given. All around he seemed to just be much happier!     Written by: Ashley G, VT Edited by: Megan K, DVM   Resources: Veterinary Partner:    

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