• John Gagnon Pet Resort

Holiday Safety Tips-

Updated: 21 hours ago

Let's take a minute and identify some common dangers that cause emergencies over the holidays. My hope is that you understand what they are and act to prevent them in your dog.

After all - it is no fun spending part of your holidays with your dog at the hospital.

#1. Gastrointestinal Upset - This is a common problem that occurs during the holidays. Adorable dogs beg for human food that doesn't agree with them. Alcohol and chocolate are toxic. Turkey bones left in an accessible place are irresistible to pets, and can lodge in an animal's throat or block the intestinal tract. Remove leftovers from the table and don't leave garbage where animals can get to it.

#2. Ornament Ingestion - Some dogs play with ornaments like a "ball" to play and either ingest pieces of the bulb, the hook or be injured by broken glass. Don't use edible ornaments or fragile, easily breakable glass decorations to trim the tree (especially on the lower branches).

#3. Tree Dangers- Your pet may knock over the tree playing, trying to get to the bulbs or while playing under the tree. The needles (even artificial ones) are indigestible and can cause gastric upset. You can keep your dog away from the tree (using a baby gate in the doorway or low lattice fencing) or secure it so it can't be knocked over.

#4. Ornament Hooks. Don't use wire ornament hooks that can easily snag an ear or a tail, or, if swallowed, can lodge in the throat or intestines. Instead, fashion loops of yarn, ribbons or lightweight twine.

#5. Ingestion of String, Tinsel or Ribbon. Ingestion of string, ribbon on gifts, or bulbs can cause what vets refer to as a foreign body. That can require surgery. Prevent exposure of your pets to the gifts unless supervised.

#6. Burns and House Fires - Candles are popular this time of year and dogs can knock over a candle with their vigorous tails. This can cause burns and even house fires. Another common cause of house fires (which has nothing to do with your dog) is a dried out Christmas tree. Keep your tree watered.

#7. Drinking Tree Water. Some pets will drink water from the tree. Don't use preservatives in the stand water. They can be toxic if consumed by a thirsty pet. Carefully cover the top of the stand with a tree skirt so your pet can't get to it.

#8. Potpourri - Liquid potpourri is commonly used during the holidays to give a nice aroma to the home. Dogs can be attracted and lick some up. This can cause severe caustic burns to the mouth, gums, tongue and esophagus. These burns can be severe enough to require hospitalization and placement of a feeding tube.

#9. Electrocution - Some dogs (especially curious puppies) will chew on or bite electrical cords causing life-threatening electrocution. Make sure electrical cords are out of reach, taped firmly to walls or floors.

#10. Plant Problems - Certain plants are a menace to dogs: Poinsettias irritate the stomach and eyes. Berries of the Jerusalem cherry are toxic, and cause pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Holly and mistletoe, amaryllis, chrysanthemum, rhododendron and winter broom as well as Christmas berry, cherry, pepper and rose can all cause problems to pets that ingest them.


John Gagnon's Pet Resort

227 Upton Road

Colchester, CT 06415



860-537-2999 Fax

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Monday-Friday 6:30 am - 7:00 pm

Saturday 7:00 am - 2:00 pm 

Sunday- 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

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