5 dangerous toxins for pet-owners to be aware of during the holidays | SierraSun.com

5 dangerous toxins for pet-owners to be aware of during the holidays

Gina Kang
Special to the Sun
Juniper Kang is in the festive spirit. Be sure to take extra care for animals like Juniper during the holidays.
Courtesy Gina Kang |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The holidays are a time for entertaining, connecting with friends and family, and eating good food. However, during this time, we can see increased visits to the pet emergency room.

The ASPCA Poison Control Center reports that the following are the most commonly reported toxins during the holiday season.

Chocolate: Most pet owners are aware that dark chocolate can be dangerous to dogs, especially if the dog is small, under 20 pounds. Chocolate can also cause upset stomach, and numerous wrappers can be cause an intestinal obstruction.

Tree preservatives: Some tree preservatives include fertilizers and dextrose. Signs may include mild vomiting and diarrhea. Treatment at home may include giving your pet a bland diet and monitoring at home.

Poinsettias: This plant can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach, but in general, the toxicity of the plant is low if treated properly.

Medications: Many visitors may have medications or vitamins that they regularly take. Be sure to make sure that these medications are out of reach from your pet. Common medications such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be deadly to cats. Other cardiac, blood pressure and anti-anxiety medications can also have adverse effects on your pets.

Alcohol: Be careful leaving your eggnog or cider on the table, as some dogs will try to get a lick. Most common signs include vomiting, but unfortunately, alcohol is quickly absorbed.

In addition to keeping your pet safe, please consider who will be visiting, such as elderly family and friends. If your pet likes to jump on people, you may want to separate your pet from those who might have increased difficulty walking in order to prevent injury.

If you think your pet has ingested a toxic substance, please call your veterinarian or the APSCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Gina Kang, DVM, MS, lives in Truckee and works at the Doctor’s Office for Pets on 10939A Industrial Way, No. 101, Truckee. She sees all pets including cats, dogs, reptiles, birds and small mammals. Visit doctorsofficeforpets.com or call 530-587-5144.