The Holiday season is a time for family gatherings, feasts and libations. As we enter this time of the year, we should be mindful of the “goodies” that we can safely share, as well as those we should refrain from giving to our dogs or cats. 

Did you know the holiday season typically brings an increase in vet visits?  Some of these visits arise from unsafe food ingestion, exposure to poisonous plants, and overindulging, to name a few. 

So, whether you will be staying home, or traveling, let’s practice pet safety this Holiday season!


Fido is begging at the Thanksgiving dinner table for just a morsel of what his humans are enjoying. Go ahead and give him a few pieces of boneless turkey. Also, feel free to share some of that turkey with your favorite feline. 

As for turkey skin, both dogs and cats will have a difficult time ingesting this fatty part of the turkey. 

In addition, there are “no bones” about it! Keep all turkey bones away from Felix and Fido. Even the tiniest piece of bone could potentially lead to gastrointestinal issues.


Feel free to share just a bit of sweet potatoes (sans the sweet topping). Broccoli, peas, and green beans (not the casserole), can also be a great treat for your furry friends.


Thankfully, most pets do not have a “taste” for alcoholic beverages. However, accidents do occur. Pets will act much like humans when intoxicated (vomiting, incoordination, weakness, passing out, etc.). 

You should not be as concerned with the type of alcohol, but more so with the amount consumed. The weight of your pet will also be a factor. 

Additionally, alcoholic beverages containing Xylitol, can be deadly if consumed by your pet. 

Contact your veterinarian, or poison hotline if you have concerns that your pet ingested alcohol, and if treatment is needed. 


It’s best to keep Fido and Felix out of the kitchen when you are baking up those Holiday treats. Raw eggs can lead to food poisoning. 

Also, use caution when preparing sweets with sugar substitutes that contain Xylitol. Believe it or not, some peanut butters contain this toxic substance. 

That box of chocolates you got from your Cousin Sal, or that fruitcake with raisins made by Auntie May, should be kept out of reach of your furry friends. 


You want to make your Holiday dinner table more festive with flowers, or plants? Be sure to know which ones are poisonous to your pup, or kitty cat. Here is a short list of flowers and plants to be concerned about if consumed by your fur baby:

  • Hydrangea
  • Iris
  • Calla lily
  • Autumn crocus
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Acorns from oak trees

How many of you have heard that poinsettias are toxic to pets? The reality is, this favorite Christmas plant has a very low toxicity to pets. 


We all love our homes to look Holiday festive! As you put up your Christmas tree, consider keeping hooks, glass ornaments, tinsel and lights out of paws reach. 


Planning on hosting a Holiday party, or Thanksgiving dinner? Be mindful of your pet’s anxiety. You may want to put them in their “safe place” with a favorite toy. 

If Fido is going to be a guest at the gathering, use caution as guests arrive and depart. If Fido is known to flee, he may make a break for the great outdoors. 

This is also a great time to contact your veterinarian about microchipping, or ensuring your fur baby’s ID tag is up to date. 


First and foremost, be certain that your hosts are ok with you bringing along your furry family members. 

Secondly, as much as you may want to enjoy the Holidays with your pet, traveling and strange environments can cause much anxiety. 

If driving, safely secure your pet with a carrier, or safety harness. 


The Holidays inevitably bring up situations that are out of your control. Now is a great time to ask your veterinarian about their holiday hours, locate the nearest emergency clinic, update your pet first aid kit and have the pet poison control hotline number at your disposal. 


The greatest gift you can give to yourself, and your pet in the case of an emergency, is CALMNESS. The doctors and staff at Independence Veterinarian Clinic wish to THANK YOU for trusting us with the care of your fur babies. We love them all like they are our own. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Joyful Christmas!

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