Amherst Veterinary Hospital

313 Cty Rd KK
Amherst, WI 54406


A safety guide for pet owners during the holiday season.

1. Anticipate your guests' arrivals and confine your pet to prevent it from escaping or worse yet, "soiling" your guests clothes with and unwanted jump.

2. Reduce your pet's stress by maintaining its regular feeding and exercise routine.  Develop a routine for your dog during holiday parties.  A special treat in a special room of your home works well.

3. Put packages out of reach! Dogs who smell food in a package will rip it open.  Food is the number one holiday hazard for dogs.  The foods that we eat can cause havoc on an animals intestines.  Put away children's toys after they are opened.  Ingested toys can cause choking and may have to be removed through surgery.

4. Tell guests not to share indulgences with your pet.  Poultry skin, fat trimmings, rich gravies, and buttery sauces can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, or even worse, o life threatening inflammation of the pancreas.  Also, remember that an ounce of alcoholic beverage can put a small dog into a coma.

5.  Store chocolate, candy or baking ingredients out of reach.  Chocolate is the most common toxicity during the holidays.  Small amounts cause problems.  Larger amounts can cause above normal heart rhythms, nervous system malfunctions, and even death.  Secure your garbage in bins with tight lids.  (This is a good habit to get into all year!)  A dog can chew up holiday garbage, which can result in intestinal problems.

6. Buy only decorating products (tree water preservatives and artificial snow)
that are labeled non-toxic.

7. Secure large trees to the wall to prevent tipping, or consider a smaller tree that can fit on a tabletop.

8. Remember that stomach problems can be caused by popcorn and gumdrops.  Avoid using these strings of edible decorations.

9. Fasten all your tree decorations securely, with the more fragile ones at the top.  Dogs who chew these can suffer cuts in their mouth from broken ornaments.

10.Return paper and other gift wrapping materials to their storage places after gift wrapping is finished.

11. Place holiday plants out of reach and vacuum often.  Poinsettia can cause drooling, oral pain, and vomiting.  Mistletoe causes vomiting, labored breathing, shock and death from cardiovascular collapse.  When animals eat the needles from real or fake trees, they can get intestinal blockage.

12. Display candles on high shelves to avoid painful burns and singed whiskers and make sure that cords are tucked out of reach.  Electrocution can put a huge damper on holiday festivities!

Greg Robert, LLC