Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network


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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

The holiday season is an exciting time for everyone, including our pets.  Our cats love all the empty boxes that turn up about this time of year better than any present we could get them and our dogs look forward to their Christmas stockings every year.  It’s also is vital to take some precautions to ensure our pets have a happy and safe holiday season.  Since our little furry friends aren’t always the wisest about what they try to eat or play with, it is a good idea to take some care to pet proof your home for the holidays.

The Tree – Pets find a Christmas tree intriguing and curious, with all the shiny, dangly ornaments and lights tempting them to play. Make sure your tree is tethered a stable surface to prevent it from falling over. Keep the lowest branches of the tree un-decorated to avoid temptation.  Tinsel is especially dangerous and can cause serious injury if ingested. Artificial snow, while pretty, is toxic to pets.  Even the tree needles can be painful when stepped on or reek havoc if ingested.

Candles – Decorative and aromatic candles a plenty! Never leave candles unattended and always out of pets’ reach. We love our candles, but cleaning up wax spill splashed across carpet, furniture or pets, is no fun …. and nobody wants a house fire (or a pet fireball!!).

Chocolate – Keep chocolate away from your pets.  Chocolate is toxic for pets and can cause severe illness and could even be fatal. Don’t forget about the gifts under the tree. If you suspect there is food in a present, store it out of the way until unwrapping time!.  If possible, keeping the room with the tree and gifts closed off is ideal to keep pets safe.

Plants – Mistletoe, Holly and Poinsettias are all toxic to our pets. Keep these in a place your pets can’t get to directly or any pieces that fall off.  Remember, just because they haven’t eaten something yet, doesn’t mean they won’t ever try it!

Eggnog… A No-No – Holiday cheers — make sure your pets don’t join in on the holiday toasts!!!  Alcohol is toxic to pets.  Because of their smaller size and different metabolisms, alcohol can cause severe illness, coma, or even death in pets.

Leftovers – Are not for our pets.  The list of human foods that are bad for our pets is pretty long.  The safest approach is to NOT give them our leftovers. Sticky to snacks and treated created for pets instead.

Pet Presents – During the Holidays we tend spoil our pets a little. To avoid stomach upset, it’s best to give the same treat you would give the rest of the year.  With decorating your pets package, ensure there is nothing they could swallow, like ribbon, that could create a blockage.

Winter Weather – Baby it’s cold outside!!!  Despite those lovely fur coats, our pets get cold too. Also, city living means there’s salt everywhere which can be harmful to dog paws.  Consider appropriate winter wear for your dogs : booties can protect paws from salt and jackets or sweaters will keep them warm.  Keep an eye out for frostbite on paws & ears,  any concerns should be checked by your vet.

I hope these tips help you, your families, and your pets enjoy a safe and fun holiday season!

Happy Holidays from everyone at the Downtown Animal Hospital.

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