Happy Hound Holidays ahead!

Seasonal & Holiday Hazards for Pets!

This time of year represents fall changes and joyful holiday preparations, yet pet owners should be cautious and observe the following tips for safe dog care:

Compost piles: As you revamp lawn and garden, remember that compost
piles are not safe for pets. They grow toxic molds that can cause severe muscle
tremors and seizures.  Personally, I have observed a few dogs who want to EAT the fertilizer (an entirely different subject here would be coprophagia).

Chocolate: This is a huge NO-NO for dogs. From left-over Halloween
goodies to Christmas fudge, please remember that chocolate is never good for

Xylitol: Holiday candy with xylitol (an ingredient found in sugar-free candies & gum) causes low blood sugar in dogs and possible liver failure, which could be LETHAL especially in smaller dogs.

Rat Poison: Rats (and mice) seek shelter as the weather gets colder. This is a no-brainer regarding what to watch for if you are dispensing rodent poison in the backyard.

Aspirin and other Common-Cold Remedies: With the onset of flu season, come added exposure to Acetaminophen (found in Tylenol); Pseudoephedrine (found in many decongestants); Dextromethorphan (found in cough supressants) and Ibuprofen; all of which are not good for pets.  Keep pets (and small 2-legged children) safely away!

Holiday Plants: Lilies, Poinsettias, Mistletoe & Holly are beautiful
decorations yet are poisonous for dogs and cats.  If ingested, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or nausea.  Keep out of reach!

Christmastree water: may contain fertilizer which can cause stomach
upset. Stagnant water can attract bacteria, also leading to vomiting, nausea,
and diarrhea, if ingested.


Alcohol: Keep cocktails safely away from pets!  Keep tabs on your guests
too! (Not to mention consumption & driving) DUI task forces are doubled
during the holidays!

Electric cords: Avoid exposure to electric cords. If chewed, they can
electrocute your pet!!!!

Ribbons or tinsel: If chewed or swallowed, they can cause intestinal
obstruction or get tangled around your pet causing possible suffocation!  Cats
love stringy things!

Batteries for those Santa toys: If ingested they can cause ulceration to the
mouth, tongue, and gastrointestinal tract. OUCH!

Glass ornaments: Can absolutely shred the internal lining if ingested.  Hang
‘em high!

Christmas Trees: These are always fun attractions for pets! Secure them and be careful they aren’t used as scratching posts or fun ladders (for those
agility-oriented dogs & cats!).  Fido or Feline will be enamored by those low-lying ornaments as well!

Potpourri: While fun holiday fragrances (think cinnamon!), the potential exposure from simmering pots and spills or consumption of those yummy pine cones, may result in severe damage.

Holiday Guest Arrival/Departure: Consider a special place for Fido or Feline to retreat to when company arrives.  Please put your dog(s) on a
leash before guests arrive
. The excitement at the door may promote not only
added cacophony, but an opportunity to escape. P.S. Are your dogs properly
micro-chipped and/or tagged if lost?

Anxiety Aid:  If your dog is unable to manage the added
excitement, consider a calming aid such as the Thundershirt (see our link under
“Partners and Products” on this site for details). These wonderful “dog
blankies” are sold everywhere and can also be ordered through Doolittle’s
Doghouse.  You may also consider cage-free boarding for Fido if holiday festivities are just too much or visiting relatives aren’t dog lovers!  We offer cage-free boarding in a nanny’s private home…the next best thing to your home is ours!


Many veterinary clinics have limited holiday office hours.  In the absence of available Vet care, some pet owners try to self-medicate their animals. Never give your pet any medications unless advised by your Veterinarian…despite what you read on the internet!!!  What is safe for us can be deadly to animals.  If you suspect that your pet has ingested something harmful, please call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center!!

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is a unique, emergency hotline
providing 24/7 telephone assistance to pet owners. The Center’s hotline is
staffed by Veterinarians who can quickly answer your emergency questions.

Veterinary professionals provide around-the-clock, on-site coverage of the
Center. The licensed staff members share over one hundred and ten years of
combined call center experience and over seventy-five years of combined
toxicology, clinical, and diagnostic experience. Their number is 1-888-4-ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435)

Doolittle’s Doghouse wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!

The above tips garnered from Andrea Rael @The Huffington Post, NAPPS, the ASPCA & personal experience

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