Here’s to a Happy and SAFE Holiday Season


Twas the Night Before Christmas

and all through the house

All the creatures were stirring

One might even say conferring

On where all the goodies were hidden

Not realizing they were forbidden…


With the flurry of holiday preparations and all the comings and goings, it’s a time when we may be more distracted than normal. And therefore a time when our dogs may find their way into any number of things that could poison or kill them.

poisonAt this time of year, I keep a printed copy of poisonous food for dogs on the fridge so that visitors are also made aware of foods that could harm or kill dogs.

All of the following foods are potentially deadly: some are deadly in small amounts.

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado (skin, pits, leaves, bark; possibly fruit)
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine found in coffee, tea, energy drinks
  • Fatty foods
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Onions & Onion Family
  • Raisins and Grapes
  • Salt
  • Yeast Dough
  • Xylitol (a very common sweetener, deadly to animals, and found in sugarless
  • gum & candies, toothpaste, and even in some Rescue Remedy pastille tablets).

Along with this list, I keep this number:

Poison Control Hotline

888-426-4435, Toll Free Number. It is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

There is a consult fee of $60, payable by credit card. This includes follow-up consultation (they provide a special number) with you or your vet throughout the case.

You will need to have the following information ready:

  • Species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved
  • Symptoms
  • Substance (if known), the amount and the time since ingestion or exposure
  • Product packaging for reference

If your animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having trouble breathing, call ahead and take him or her immediately to your vet or to an emergency vet clinic. Take any product packaging with you.

Keep emergency numbers at the ready: your vet, emergency vet and the poison control hotline. Keep directions to your vet and emergency vet in an accessible place, and remember to leave information for pet sitters.

Here are more worthwhile tips and information from Animal Poison Control.

Common Household Poisons and Hazards

  • Antifreeze
  • Batteries
  • Cocoa mulch
  • Insecticides and Pesticides
  • Mothballs
  • Nicotine
  • Organophosphate lawn products
  • Pennies!
  • Prescription and over the counter medications
  • Ribbons & tinsel
  • Rodent bait

For a more complete list of Common Poisons & Hazards click here.

Common Poisonous Plants

  • Amaryllis
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Azalea/ Rhododendron
  • Castor Bean
  • Cyclamen
  • Lilies
  • Oleander
  • Peach, Plum, Cherry, Apricot (seeds, leaves, stems)
  • Sago Palm
  • Tulip / Narcissus bulbs
  • Yew

Click for a searchable database of Common Poisonous Plants

Animal Poison Control First Aid Kit Recommendations

  • Fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3% (to induce vomiting)
  • Turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe (to give peroxide)
  • Saline eye solution
  • Artificial tear gel
  • Mild grease-cutting dish-washing liquid (bathing after skin contamination)
  • Forceps (stinger removal)
  • Muzzle (to protect against fear or excitement induced biting)
  • Can of favorite wet food
  • Pet carrier

Web Resources from Animal Poison Control

What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned

Poison Control FAQ

A Poison Safe Home

People Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Pets

Top Pet Poisons

Toxic & Non-Toxic Plants (searchable data base)

Snake Bite Safety and Prevention Tips

From our family to yours–

Have a Wonderful Holiday everyone!

See you on the other side of the New Year!

5 thoughts on “Here’s to a Happy and SAFE Holiday Season”

  1. Thank you Karen…great list! I once panicked when my beagle ate a Hershey’s Kiss….but she was OK, thank heavens. As for the tinsel, we don’t tinsel…..too many kitties (and it’s gaudy!)…sorry tinsel lovers!! :-)

  2. I haven’t tinseled a tree since we got the puppy 30 years ago. That first Christmas with her was a learning curve. We lived in very dry Colorado at the time and every time she walked past the tree all the tinsel flew off the tree and onto her. Not good. Now I have long acrylic icicles that tie on.

    Misty likes to bat at the hangers but so far has never tried to eat anything she’s succeeded in knocking off. Of course once it stops swinging it is no longer interesting either.

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