Deck The Halls, But Do It Safely!

ASPCA's Pet Poison Prevention Tips For the Holiday

Urbana ,  Ill. , November 27, 2006—There’s nothing better than gathering with friends and family
for the holidays; eating, drinking, and putting up festive decorations.  While enjoying this time of
year, it is important to remember the potential hazards that certain goodies and décor can pose to
our furry, feathered or scaly companions.  To keep pets happy and healthy during the holiday
season, The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is offering pet owners the following
helpful hints:

-  Holiday sweets with chocolate are not for pets. Depending on the dose ingested, chocolate
(bakers, semi sweet, milk and dark) can be potentially poisonous to many animals. In general, the
less sweet the chocolate, the more toxic it could be.  In fact, unsweetened baking chocolate
contains almost seven times more theobromine (a substance similar to caffeine) as milk chocolate.
Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and increased thirst, urination and heart rate can be seen
with the ingestion of as little as 1/4 ounce of baking chocolate by a 10-pound dog.

- Keep your pet on its normal diet.  Any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or
cat severe indigestion and diarrhea.  This is particularly true for older animals that have more
delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements.

- Candies and gum containing large amounts of the sweetener xylitol can also be toxic to pets, as
ingestions of significant quantities can produce a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in
depression, uncoordination and seizures.  Be sure to keep such products well out of the reach of
your pets.

- Don’t give pets holiday leftovers, and keep pets out of the garbage. Poultry bones can splinter
and cause blockages. Greasy, spicy and fatty foods can cause stomach upset; spoiled or moldy
foods could cause food poisoning, tremors or seizures.

- Alcohol and pets do NOT mix.  Place unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot reach
them.  If ingested, the animal could become very sick and weak and may go into a coma, possibly
resulting in death from respiratory failure.

- Keep aluminum foil and cellophane candy wrappers away from pets.  They can cause vomiting and
intestinal blockage.  

- Be careful with holiday floral arrangements. Lilies are commonly used this time of year and all
varieties, including Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Stargazer and Casa Blanca can cause kidney
failure in cats. Safe alternatives can include artificial flowers made from silk or plastic.

- Common Yuletide plants such as mistletoe and holly berries can be potentially toxic to pets.
Should a cat or dog eat mistletoe, they could possibly suffer gastrointestinal upsets and
cardiovascular problems.  Holly can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and lethargy if ingested.  

- Poinsettias are considered to be very low in toxicity.  However, they could cause mild vomiting or
nausea if ingested by your pet.

- Keep pets away from Christmas tree water.  The water may contain fertilizers which, if ingested,
can cause a stomach upset.  Stagnant tree water can also act as a breeding ground for bacteria
and if ingested a pet could end up with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

- Consider decorating your tree with ornaments that are relatively less enticing to pets, such as
dried non-toxic flowers, wood, fabric or pinecones. Traditional decorations such as ribbons or
tinsel, if ingested, can become lodged in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction. This is a
very common problem, particularly with cats.

Taken from the ASPCA's website
The best way to meet local
Reputable Hobby
Breeders is to attend dog
shows in your area.  You
can find a list of upcoming
dog shows by searching on
the AKC website.


Select your state and
breed - Soft Coated
Wheaten Terrier

This will give you a list of
upcoming dog shows to