Chocolate, Tinsel and Poinsettias are Bad News

Durham Veterinarian Educates Pet Owners about Holiday Safety

The winter holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's Day - are festive and enjoyable times for humans. However, some of the same things that make these occasions so much fun for us can be dangerous to our pets. Take a little time to educate yourself about holiday pet perils and save a trip to the veterinarian over the holidays.

Holiday Pet Hazards

One of the primary threats to animals during the holidays is food. Some of the foods that are delicious to us are harmful to our pets. Among these are chocolate, onions and garlic, raisins and grapes, yeast bread dough and alcoholic beverages. Holiday plants, too, can be dangerous. Poinsettias, holly and mistletoe are all poisonous to pets. Decorations, especially tinsel, can be enticing to pets, but harmful if swallowed.

At New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham, N.C., our veterinarian recommends taking a few precautions to keep your dog and cat safe this holiday season. Make sure to cover food items and clear the food off the holiday table as soon as the meal is finished. Avoid toxic plants, or at least keep them outside or in an area that is off limits to your pets. Decorations should be kept pet-friendly. There's no sense in spending the entire season worrying about the cat and the tinsel. Use popcorn or large garland instead to finish your tree.

Visitors coming and going throughout the holiday season can lead to your dog or cat sneaking out of the house unnoticed. Make sure they can find their way back by having your pet microchipped. This inexpensive, painless and easy procedure can increase the odds dramatically of your pet being returned. Our animal clinic provides microchipping to Durham and Chapel Hill pets as an important preventative care service.

What precautions do you take during the holiday season to ensure your pet's safety? Have you ever had to make an emergency trip to the animal hospital during the holidays?

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Read what our happy pet owners have to say!

  • "Dr. Windram is such a great veterinarian! He always takes the time to follow up visits with a call, and is so patient with my high-stress, vet-anxious dog. I only wish I could get this kind of medical care for myself!"
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  • "I've been going here for about 4 years with my dog. The staff is kind and loving towards the animals and very friendly and professional."
    Liz T. (via Google)
  • "Our dogs have gone here for nearly a year now and all the doctors and staff are friendly, knowledgeable and thorough. Great clinic all around."
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  • "Dr. Bush is the most amazing and thorough veterinarian I have ever encountered. She is a true professional and cares equally for both her patients as well as their owners."
    Marnie S. (via Google)
  • "My pets have been cared for by the folks at New Hope for years now. Best vet practice in Durham hands down!"
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