pet news


What not to give your pet for Christmas

CHRISTMAS KITTYIt’s that jingle bells time of year again, and just like all good little kids, Fido and Friskie are caught up in the excitement of the season – everything smells so good! But not everything they find under the tree … or on the table … or on the counters … or in the guest room … is good for them. So in order to keep this holiday season happy and safe for all, it is wise to keep the following list of no-no’s close at hand.

Things not to give your pet this year:

Chocolate! Chocolate tops all lists of pet no-no’s. Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous – the darker the chocolate, the more of the bad ingredient is present. Discriminating noses are waiting for you to drop snacks!

Macadamia nuts – If a dog eats enough it can cause weakness and an inability to rise in the hind legs within twelve hours of ingestion. The signs typically go away on their own over several hours, but avoid the nuts altogether.

Grapes or raisins – Ingestion in those who are sensitive can cause acute renal failure. Since the last place you want to spend the holidays is at the emergency clinic, be sure to keep Fido far away from grapes, raisins, and toddlers carrying them.

Xylitol – one of the ingredients in many types of sugarless gum, xylitol can cause profound hypoglycemia followed by liver failure when eaten in large enough quantities. We think gum is tasty, and so do our pets. Be sure to keep gum out of the reach of inquisitive noses.

Rising bread dough – When it rises inside Fido’s belly, it causes nothing but trouble. Keep the dough as far away from Fido’s nose as possible.

Alcohol/eggnog – Keep an eye on glasses left unattended, particularly if there is a curious cat in your home.

Antidepressants – Our medication can definitely be toxic to our pets. One antidepressant in particular, Effexor, seems to be particularly tasty to cats, and can cause some very unpleasant symptoms. Be sure to remind guests too.

Ham, turkey, steak, the Christmas goose! – Too much (and even ‘a little’ can be too much) of a good thing can cause big problems. The biggest problem seen after the holidays are all the critters who were fed holiday snacks and come in with upset stomachs that require treatment, and in some cases, hospitalization. The easiest fix is a carrot stick!

Onions – these pungent vegetables are not only bad for your breath, but are bad for your pet’s insides. Keep them far away from all critters in your home.

Holiday plants – most holiday plants are not life threatening. It is still best to keep them out of the reach of all pets. The common plants of the season (in order of toxicity, from least to greatest) include Poinsettias, Christmas cactus, Amaryllis, Mistletoe, and Holly.

Lilies – Lilies cause acute renal failure in cats; every part of the plant is toxic. Keep them far out of the reach of your curious felines!

Tinsel/ribbons – Tinsel and ribbons are intoxicating toys to your feline friends, but can be deadly if swallowed. If you have cats in your home, keep the tinsel far far away.

The Christmas tree/ornaments – The needles of most types of pine trees can cause GI upset if they are chewed on by pets. If your special critter starts chewing on the needles of your tree, expect vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and depression – not a fun way to spend the holiday!

May your holiday season be happy and healthy and bright! We hope to not see you, but if you do run into the unexpected, the staff at Animal Health Services is ready to take care of you and your special friends. Merry Christmas!

Animal Health Services is located at 37555 N. Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek. Call 480-488-6181. Visit for the full text of the article.

DECEMBER 21, 2011

First visit for No Kill Advocacy Center founder, author Nathan Winograd

Join us on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, to welcome one of the greatest No Kill leaders of the nation for an exciting, educational, and networking opportunity for learning how to build a No Kill community to save shelter animals.

Come join Nathan Winograd to see what No Kill really looks like, which communities have achieved it and how, and what shelter reformers can do to make it happen in their community.

Nathan has helped raise the bar for saving the lives of shelter animals. In many cases, the shelters drastically reduced their kill rates down to 10 percent or less. This was accomplished through the implementation of the No Kill Equation.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. conference
2 – 2:30 p.m. book-signing
Smokehouse/Pour House Patio
6245 E. Cave Creek Rd.
Cave Creek, Arizona 85331
to reserve your seat.
This is a fee-free event