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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



How do I become a veterinary technician?

This is the end to RVT week, a time to celebrate our technicians and what they do to help our clinics! In honor of this we will be talking about how to become a veterinary technician. To answer this question we must first look at what are veterinary technicians. "A veterinarian’s assistant, trained to provide medical care for animals, as performing diagnostic tests or administering vaccines and medication." - Now that is just putting it in the most simple terms. If we went in depth a bit more you would get the following. "Veterinary technicians are animal nurses (and much more). In addition to their nursing duties, they act as patient advocates, phlebotomists, radiology technicians, laboratory technicians, anesthesia technicians, and surgery technicians. Except tasks legally restricted to veterinarians, such as diagnosing disease conditions, performing surgery, prescribing medications, and prognosing medical outcomes, veterinary technicians are trained to do everything a veterinary hospital requires to run smoothly." - AAHA Certainly! Veterinary technicians play a crucial role in the healthcare of animals. Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks, making them an integral part of the veterinary team. In fact, you may sometimes hear them referred to as veterinary technologists, as they possess a comprehensive understanding of various medical procedures and techniques. To become a veterinary technician, individuals typically undergo rigorous education and training. They typically enroll in specialized programs that span anywhere from 18 to 36 months. These programs provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their field. Upon completion, aspiring veterinary technicians may take a national exam known as the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). The VTNE is a comprehensive assessment that evaluates the breadth of the technician’s understanding across multiple species. With a total of 300 multiple-choice questions, covering various topics, this exam ensures that technicians are well-prepared to handle the diverse challenges encountered in their daily work. From animal anatomy and physiology to pharmacology and radiology, the VTNE examines their proficiency in all essential areas. Successfully passing the VTNE paves the way for technicians to become registered veterinary technicians (RVTs). The RVT title signifies their achievement and signifies their commitment to upholding high standards within the profession. As registered technicians, they can further contribute to the well-being and welfare of animals, working alongside veterinarians to provide exemplary care. In summary, veterinary technicians are highly skilled professionals who have invested significant time and effort into their education and training. Their role in the veterinary field is invaluable, as they bring expertise, compassion, and dedication to ensure the health and happiness of our beloved animal companions. So let’s simplify the steps into a list to become a technician! Research and Understand the Role: Take the time to learn about the responsibilities and duties of a veterinary technician. This will give you a clear understanding of what the profession entails. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent: To pursue a career as an RVT, you will need a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification. Make sure you meet this prerequisite. Research Accredited Veterinary Technology Programs: Look for accredited veterinary technology programs in your area. These programs are designed to provide the necessary education and training to become an RVT. Choose the Right Program: Evaluate different veterinary technology programs based on factors such as curriculum, facilities, faculty, and clinical opportunities. Choose a program that aligns with your interests and career goals. Enroll in a Veterinary Technology Program: Once you’ve selected a program, complete the application process and enroll. Be prepared to meet any admission requirements specific to the program. Attend and Complete the Program: Dedicate yourself to your studies and practical training during the veterinary technology program. Attend lectures, laboratory sessions, and clinical rotations to gain the knowledge and skills required for the profession. Acquire Hands-on Experience: Seek out opportunities to gain practical experience in veterinary clinics or animal hospitals. Many programs offer externships or internships, which provide valuable real-world exposure. Prepare for the VTNE: The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is a comprehensive exam that assesses your competency as an aspiring RVT. Study diligently and use preparation resources, such as practice exams and study guides, to enhance your chances of success. Schedule and Take the VTNE: Once you feel prepared, schedule your VTNE. The exam is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) and can typically be taken at designated testing centers. Obtain State Licensure: After passing the VTNE, you will need to apply for state licensure. Each state has its own requirements, so make sure to complete the application process and submit the necessary documentation. Continuing Education and Career Development: As an RVT, it’s vital to stay current with advancements in veterinary medicine. Pursue continuing education opportunities, attend conferences, and consider specialization or advanced certifications to further enhance your knowledge and skills. Remember, the journey to becoming an RVT requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for animal care. Follow these steps to embark on a fulfilling and rewarding career in veterinary technology. Written by: Ashley G, VT Resources AAHA – NAVTA –

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