Dec 23 2021

Holiday Safety For Pets

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Kinaras and festive candles are lit, Christmas trees are decorated, fires burn, and food is, well, non-stop! It is the season of light, peace, and joy, and a time to visit with family and friends. With all the celebration and merriment, it is important to consider safety when you have pets in your home. 

Christmas trees can be tempting for dogs and cats. Your cat may see the tree as her new climbing post or a new place to perch and look out the window! Your dog may see all those Christmas balls as toys that he can pluck off and play with.

It is important to make sure that your tree is safely secured. In the event that your cat tries to climb it, or your dog runs into it playing a game of fetch, the tree – and all of its beautiful decorations – won’t come crashing down (hopefully)!  

Be mindful of the decorations you use, not only on the tree, but around your home too.  

Tinsel is a big no-no when it comes to pets; some can’t resist the shiny stuff. All it takes is one piece of tinsel to cause a life-threatening situation. While it seems that a simple piece of tinsel should easily be passed in your pet’s stool, this is not the case. Tinsel can become lodged in the gastrointestinal tract and cause many problems – all requiring emergency surgery.

Glass tree ornaments can be hazardous. Ornaments are attractive, and pets are curious! If your pet knocks one off, both you and your pet could be injured. Use unbreakable or plastic ornaments instead.

Candles are another hazard. Kinaras and other candles should never be left unattended. With the flick or wag of a tail, a candle can topple. Singed hair, burns, and house fires are preventable. Consider battery-powered candles, and if you use real candles, place them in pet-safe places and watch them carefully.

Holiday parties wouldn’t be parties without food and drink! Many foods, however, can make your pet sick. Indulging in your pet’s begging can result in an upset stomach or even pancreatitis (a painful condition that causes vomiting and diarrhea). Don’t allow your guests to feed your pet – and if you are a guest, don’t feed your host’s pet! Our pets aren’t used to eating fatty foods like turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. Small amounts of turkey (white meat only and no bones!) and plain vegetables are usually okay – in moderation! Some pets may try to take a sip of your guests’ beer, wine, or eggnog; alcohol poisoning can occur quickly, so keep drinks out of reach. 

Take a few moments to check your home for hidden holiday hazards and you and your pets will enjoy a safe and happy holiday! 

LifeLearn News

Note: This article, written by LifeLearn Animal Health (LifeLearn Inc.) is licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of Lifelearn. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by a veterinarian.

Location & Emergency Hours

453 Rappahannock Drive
White Stone, Virginia, 22578


In case of a medical emergency after regular clinic hours please call 804-577-0511 on weekdays between the hours of 5:30 and 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon.

At other times please contact the Veterinary Emergency Center of your choice. A list of area emergency centers are listed on the Emergency Information page of our website, found under the About Us tab.

Location Hours
Monday8:30am – 5:30pm
Tuesday8:30am – 5:30pm
Wednesday8:30am – 5:30pm
Thursday8:30am – 5:30pm
Friday8:30am – 5:30pm
SaturdayClosed
SundayClosed

- Closed 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm for lunch
- Closed Saturday, Sunday and major holidays
- Closed 1st Thursday of the month to attend continuing education.

Doctors hours by appointment but we do offer free drop off service daily as a convenience for our clients. Please call ahead to make arrangements for your pet to receive needed care and pick them up later in the day.