No kitten around: 5 Tahoe tips to keep pets safe during the holidays |

No kitten around: 5 Tahoe tips to keep pets safe during the holidays

Juniper the dog gets in the festive spirit.
Courtesy Gina Kang |

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 for toxin and foreign body ingestion. Here are some tips for keeping your pets sage.

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

2. Gift wrapping and tinsel: Cats and kittens love to play with strings and tinsel, but these items can cause an intestinal obstruction which is a medical emergency. If your pet is known for getting into foreign objects, ensure to keep shiny tinsel, strings, and gift wrapping way from him or her.

3. Plants: Some tree preservatives include fertilizers and dextrose. Signs may include mild vomiting and diarrhea. Poinsettias can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach, but in general the toxicity of the plant is low if treated properly.

4. 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.

5. 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 or your closest veterinary emergency clinic.

Dr. Gina Kang, DVM, MS, lives in Truckee and works at Doctor’s Office for Pets on 10939A Industrial Way #101, Truckee. She sees all pets including cats, dogs, reptiles, birds and small mammals. More information can be found at or at 530-587-5144.

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