Seasonal Hazards

Each season poses its own danger to pets and their well-being.  Keep your pet safe, while still enjoying all the fun that each season brings.


Fatty Trimmings and Bones

While it can be tempting to treat your pet to a decadent treat around the holidays, doing so could upset their stomach or cause more serious conditions like pancreatitis.  Mild upset can cause vomiting or diarrhea.  Signs of pancreatitis include repeated vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and pain or distended abdomen.

Bones are also dangerous and can puncture the abdomen or result in painful constipation.

Holiday Plants

Festive plants like holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias can also be problematic.  If ingested, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, irritation of the tissues in the mouth and esophagus, seizures, and breathing problems.  Keep these plants out of the household if you can or minimally out of reach for pets and children.

Holiday Decorations

Pets can often mistake tinsel and ribbon as a toy.  These can become big a big problem when ingested and destroy the digestive tract.  If the intestinal tract becomes obstructed, surgery may be needed.  Keep ornaments off of low-lying tree limbs and out of reach from pets and children.  Lights and candles can also be a hazard if your pet can reach them.


Macadamia nuts and walnuts can cause trouble for your pet in the form of lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and elevated body temperature.

Other toxic food

Grapes, raisins, onions, and garlic are just a few examples of foods that should not be fed to pets.  They can be very toxic and cause major issues in your pet’s system.

Electric Cords

If your pet chews on an electric cord, they could suffer burns in and around the mouth, as well as experience difficulty breathing, cardiac arrest, and seizures.


Artificial Sweetener

One artificial sweetener, in particular, is extremely toxic to dogs and should be avoided completely.  Xylitol can be found in many food items as a sugar substitute.  Xylitol can traditionally be found in sugar-free gums, breath strips, and lozenges.  However, it has more recently been used in peanut butter.  Before feeding your dog peanut butter, be sure to check the label for xylitol.

Pesticides, Fertilizer, and Mulch

Large ingestions can cause an obstruction.  Be aware of any fertilizer that contains blood meal, bone meal, feather meal, or iron.  These can be especially tasty to pets.

Cocoa bean mulch is made with by-products of chocolate production.  The smell can encourage dogs to eat the mulch and can cause stomach upset.


Lilies, Sago Palm, Crocuses, and Lily of the Valley are all poisonous to pets.  Try to keep these out of your home and garden.

Fireworks and Thunderstorms

These can be huge anxiety triggers for pets.  If you can create a comfortable and quiet environment for your pet if you anticipate fireworks or thunderstorms, it could help ease their stress.  Sometimes medications can be prescribed to help as well.  Other products such as the ThunderShirt, can be a natural way to curb their anxiety.  Always check with your veterinarian before giving any medication.


Microchipping is one of the best ways to help your pet get home safely should they run away or get lost.  A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and can be implanted at any time at your veterinarian.  Keeping your information up to date is also very important.


Heat stroke, burned paw pads, and deaths from being left in cars are harsh realities of the spring and summer.  Dark colored animals, overweight, or brachycephalic (short-nosed) dogs should be kept in cool environments as much as possible.  Always provide fresh water for pets in the heat and never leave them in a car.




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