The holiday season is a hectic time of year, and nobody wants to add to the holiday stress with a trip to the emergency vet. Learn how to prevent a range of holiday hazards, from Halloween through New Year’s Eve, so you can focus on what really matters—making memories with family and friends (those with two legs and four).



While feeling a little scared might be the point of this frightful holiday, there is nothing more bone-chilling than seeing your pet suffer a calamity. Check out the top causes of pet Halloween horrors:

  • Chocolate—The caffeine and theobromine found in chocolate—especially the dark varieties—can cause potentially life-threatening problems for pets. If your pet consumes chocolate, call our office immediately.
  • Trick-or-treaters—Frequent visitors can send even the humans of the house into a frenzy. The constantly buzzing doorbell, screeching children, and terrifying costumes can be extremely stressful for pets. Create a quiet and calm space for your pet to escape the Halloween craziness.
  • Costumes and decorations—If you can’t wait to dress your pet up for Halloween, be sure to choose a costume that doesn’t restrict her breathing, vision, or movement. Fog machines, strobe lights, shrieking soundtracks, and sticky spiderwebs also pose a plethora of problems for pets. Prevent your cat or dog from snacking on any costume pieces or decorative displays to avoid a trip to the ER.



Stuffing yourself with juicy turkey, savory stuffing, and desserts galore is a hallmark of Thanksgiving, but be sure your pet doesn’t get to indulge as well. Be cautious of these tempting treats:

  • Rich foods—Gravy, turkey skin, and buttery side dishes can contribute to life-threatening pancreatitis. Don’t cave to those sad puppy eyes begging for scraps. Stick to your pet’s normal diet to avoid any gastrointestinal issues.
  • Bones—Avoid the pain of a perforated intestine or blockage by keeping turkey bones out of paw’s reach. Provide pet-friendly chews instead.
  • Leftovers—If your family hasn’t managed to polish off all the leftovers before it’s time to pitch them, make sure they are tossed into a tightly sealed trash can or bag. Rancid food can cause severe gastrointestinal upset in your furry friend, regardless of how tasty she thinks it may be.



“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” right? Well, it can also be the most stressful. And, our furry companions have plenty of opportunities to cause problems and end up on Santa’s naughty list. To keep your pet on the nice list, avoid these Christmas pitfalls:

  • Candy—Sugar-free candy sweetened with xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. But, it isn’t just the candy that can harm your pet; if your curious pal sneaks into your stocking, all those foil wrappers ingested can cause an intestinal blockage.
  • Holiday plants—No smooching your pooch under the mistletoe, please! Mistletoe, lilies, and holly can be toxic to pets, especially cats.
  • Christmas tree and ornaments—Not only can a cat topple a tree, she can also shatter glass ornaments hung from the highest branches. Stick with unbreakable decorations and keep your kitty from using your tree as a climbing post.
  • Wires and lights—The only acceptable shock on Christmas is receiving that perfectly unexpected gift. Keep your pets away from any exposed cords or wires to prevent burns.
  • Gift wrapping—Kittens playing with ribbons are an irresistible sight, but make sure those strings don’t disappear down the hatch. Cats routinely have severe intestinal blockages from eating ribbon.


New Year’s Eve

Even though the holiday season is winding down, a New Year’s Eve bash can be the wildest party of the year. Start the New Year off right by avoiding these party hazards:

  • Noisemakers—Loud noises contributing to the chaos of the season can send the most mellow mutt into a panic. Provide a calm, quiet resting place for your pet to escape the festivities.
  • Alcohol—Alcohol can cause major problems in pets, so be sure the only partygoers sipping champagne at midnight are of the human variety.


If your pet runs into any Halloween hazards, Thanksgiving troubles, Christmas catastrophes, or New Year’s Eve naughtiness, give us a call at 757-564-9815 to help keep your holidays running smoothly.