Seasonal Tips

Seasonal Tips for Thanksgiving/Xmas

Holidays are a fun time for all. The good times do bring some pet hazards that everyone might not be aware of.

Foods that we enjoy for holiday dinners can be toxic and in some cases fatal to our pets. Fatty foods, bones, and some decorative plants can be toxic.

When hosting a holiday party be aware that your pet may not enjoy the festivities. If your pet is nervous around guests, put your pet in another room or crate away from the hustle and bustle. If your pet enjoys company, watch the exits, the frequent comings and goings offer many opportunities for escape.

If you plan on traveling with your pet for the holidays, make sure their vaccinations are up to date. Depending on how you are traveling, you may also need a health certificate. Whenever your pet is traveling in a vehicle, make sure it is restrained by a harness or carrier, away from airbags. Don’t store food items near your pet in the car. Make sure to bring any medications your pet may need, copy of vaccination record, and identification information should your pet become lost.

For more information on pet safety during the holidays, please visit:

Fall toxins all pet owners should be aware of:

They spring up seemingly overnight sometimes. Most are generally non-toxic, but certain types can be dangerous. Correct identification is difficult therefore it is best to consider all ingestions of mushrooms as toxic until proven otherwise. Symptoms of mushroom vary but can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, and seizures with liver and kidney damage occurring later.

The advent of cooler weather can expose pets to antifreeze. It can take as little as one teaspoon of antifreeze ingestion, depending on the size of the pet, to be fatal. Early warning signs include acting drunk or uncoordinated, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Immediate treatment with antidote is key to the animal’s survival. Your pet may show signs of improvement after 8-12 hours but the internal damage is actually worsening.

Compost bins or piles
Decaying organic matter and molding food products in your compost pile potentially contain tremor causing molds. Small amounts of this mold if ingested can result in tremors or seizures with 30 minutes to several hours.

Sweets season has begun! If your pet ingests holiday treats, especially if it contains chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol, contact Yorktown Animal Hospital as soon as possible.

Table food
Table scraps can be harmful to pets. Fatty foods like ham can cause severe cases of pancreatitis, resulting in extended hospital stays in order to get vomiting and diarrhea under control.. Animal bones can splinter and cause GI issues, as well as intestinal blockages.

Disaster Preparedness Tips:

Our area is prone to hurricane activity, tornados, and often storm-induced flooding, all throughout the year. Household fires caused by lightning or accidents in the home are also risks.

Being prepared is key in these situations. When getting together your hurricane kit or family emergency plan, don’t forget your pets!

Here are some basic tips to help get you started with disaster readiness for your pets:

Have a plan in place and practice BEFORE disaster strikes. This helps with successful evacuation of your family and your pets.

Assemble an animal evacuation kit: filled with food, bowls, leashes, bedding, water, copy of their veterinary records, good pictures of your pets for easy identification, and microchip numbers.

Place stickers at the front and back of your house, barn doors, and pastures to notify neighbors and rescue personnel of animals on your property, in case you are not at home when a disaster strikes.

Keep crates and kennels in an easily accessible place. Evacuation crates should be large enough for cats to have food/water bowls, litter box room, and room to lay down. Dog crates should be large enough for food/water bowls and a bed. Keep a leash by the front door. Have crates and kennels clearly labelled.

Know which evacuation shelters take animals, or know of other possible housing options, including veterinary hospital, boarding kennels, or relative.

Disasters are stressful enough on their own. Making sure your pets are safe and secure will go a long way to helping you return to regular life.

More information

If you would like more information feel free to contact us, or more extensive information and checklists can be downloaded for free here.