Keep Your Pet Happy/Healthy Through the Holiday's from your Pet Photographer | Pet Photographer by Sharon Whitehall

Keeping everyone happy and healthy during the holiday season is not limited to you and your family but also to your pet.  Each year 100,000 cases of pet poisoning occurs in the U.S.  Things that are perfectly harmless to us can be harmful to your pet.  Here are a couple of items that you need to make sure you keep away from your dog this holiday season.


Chocolate who doesn't love chocolate?  Even our pups love it.  Unfortunately, it contains a substance called methylxanthines that can cause vomiting in small doses and death in larger quantities.  The size of the dog also comes into play.  If your dog ingests chocolate, call your vet.  Our dog Abby had consumed an entire 6 oz bag of Hersey Kisses (foil and all), my husband was out of town on a business trip.  I called the vet and they told me to give her Hydrogen peroxide.  I poured the dosage down her throat and waited for her to throw up.  And waited.  And waited.  After calling the vet back they had me give her a bit of food.... then it all happened.  Unfortunately for me it was 11pm at night and about 3 degrees outside.  So, my kitchen floor needed a lot of cleaning but she ended up being fine. 

Gum with Xylitol

Xylitol is a common artificial sweetener found in gum and some baked products. While it has no discernible effect on humans, in dogs xylitol leads to a rapid and severe drop in blood sugar levels, sometimes resulting in seizures and liver failure in as little as 30 minutes after ingestion.

Xylitol, a type of sweetener found in many sugar-free gums and other products, can have devastating consequences if ingested by dog.

Over the past several years, the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine has received a number of reports of dogs being poisoned by xylitol, sometimes with deadly consequences, the agency said.

The ingredient affects humans and dogs differently. While it's safe for people to eat, dogs' bodies do not process it the same way.

While chewing gum is the biggest culprit, xylitol can be found in other products including sugar-free candy, breath mints, cough syrup, children's and adult chewable vitamins, mouthwash, toothpaste, and some baked goods.

Mistletoe and Holly (Poinsettia plants)

Poinsettia plants while not deadly for your dog is can cause mild indigestion and discomfort.  Mistletoe and Holly have a higher toxicity than poinsettias and can cause more severe reactions such as intestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling and abdominal pain.

If you think your dog has been poisoned, try to stay calm. It is important to act quickly, but rationally.

First, gather up any of the potential poison that remains -- this may be helpful to your veterinarian and any outside experts who assist with the case. If your dog has vomited, collect the sample in case your veterinarian needs to see it.

Then, try to keep your pet calm and call your veterinarian.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Sharon Whitehall

Your Pet Photographer