Tag Archives: pet hazards

Halloween Hazards for Cats and Dogs

Halloween and trick-or-treat night are right around the corner. Did you know that the Halloween holiday is one of the most dangerous times of the year for our dogs and cats? Keep your pet safe with the following tips from a Floyds Knob, IN veterinarian.

Chocolate and Candy

Your trick-or-treat bowl is chock full of things that your pet shouldn’t have access to. Chocolate of all types—dark, milk, semi-sweet, white, even baking chocolate—contains caffeine and a chemical called theobromine, neither of which are safe for pets. Many candies, gums, and certain baked items are sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar substitute that is highly toxic to dogs and cats. Keep all goodies safely stored away in order to avoid a dangerous episode of poisoning.


Are you planning on dressing up your pet in his or her very own Halloween costume this year? Make sure your animal companion is okay with wearing clothes; many pets don’t take kindly to outfits, especially if they’re too baggy or tight-fitting. Also check through your pet’s costume and remove any small parts—plastic eyeballs, tips of drawstrings, etc.—that could be chewed off, swallowed, or choked on.

Holiday Decorations

Many families like to decorate their homes with autumn-themed plants like fall corn, pumpkins, and gourds. These items aren’t necessarily toxic to animals, but they can still cause trouble. Almost any foreign substance can cause vomiting if your pet eats too much, and bits of these plants can be chewed off and present a choking hazard. Don’t let your pet gain access.

Also be sure to tape down any cords running from electric Halloween decorations to the wall socket. Pets can chew on these, or get tangled up.


One of Halloween’s biggest dangers is one you may not have thought of: anxiety. If your pet gets worked up whenever the doorbell rings, trick-or-treat night can be very stress-inducing! Plus, some pets might try to dart out of the door when you open it for trick-or-treaters. Avoid the trouble by securing your pet in another room; try playing music or the radio at a medium volume to mask over the sound of the doorbell.

Do you need help preparing your pet for Halloween? Have more questions about keeping your animal friend safe this holiday? Give your vet in Floyds Knob, IN a call today. We’re here to serve all of your pet-care needs!

Valentine’s Day Pet Hazards

Valentine’s Day is only a few weeks away. Like just about any holiday, it brings with it several pet hazards that you should be aware of. Here, your Floyds Knob, IN vet tells you what to look out for and how to keep your pet safe.


As you probably already know, chocolate is a big no-no for pets. Chocolate of all types—milk, dark, white, semi-sweet, Baker’s, etc.—contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that aren’t good for animals. Without treatment, chocolate ingestion can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and worse. Never leave chocolate of any sort out on countertops or tables where pets could reach it.


Giving candy to that special someone? Make sure your pet doesn’t get their paws on it. Many candies and gums are sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar substitute that is highly toxic to animals. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and even coma if a pet doesn’t receive prompt treatment, and it only takes small amounts of xylitol to induce these symptoms.


If you’re going to be including alcoholic beverages in your holiday celebrations, take care to make sure your pet doesn’t imbibe. Wine, liquor, beer, champagne, and even foods cooked with alcohol can prove highly dangerous to pets—alcohol affects pets just like it does humans. The difference is, very small amounts can poison our four-legged friends. Never let your pet access alcohol, and never give an alcoholic beverage to your animal friend on purpose.


Lilies are a common flower found in holiday bouquets, and they’re highly toxic to our feline friends. Check through any bouquets you receive—or send to anyone with a cat—for lilies, and remove them if necessary. Also beware of roses; while they are not toxic per say, the sharp thorns found on rose stems can cut a pet’s mouth or puncture the intestine if swallowed.


Lighting candles to affect a romantic mood? Use caution, as pets can accidentally burn themselves by swiping a tail through an open flame. It’s also possible for pets to knock candles over, spilling hot wax onto the floor or even starting a fire! Try placing candles where pets won’t be able to gain access to them.

We hope you have a fun, happy, and safe Valentine’s Day with your loved one—and your pet! Call your Floyds Knob, IN veterinarian’s office for more helpful holiday safety tips.

Your Home’s Most Dangerous Areas for Pets

All things considered, pets are far safer in the confines of your home than they are outdoors. With that being said, there are many areas that can prove dangerous inside! Learn more below from your vet in Georgetown, IN.

The Kitchen

Any typical kitchen contains various foods that are harmful to pets. The list includes avocado, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chives, salt, caffeine, chocolate, candy, fatty foods, and much more. Alcohol is another major danger; it affects pets just like it affects us, except that it only takes small amounts to induce poisoning. Keep all harmful foods far out of your pet’s grasp by storing them properly in the refrigerator or cabinets.

Supply Closets

Your supply closet is full of harmful chemicals that pets shouldn’t ingest, including bleach, ammonia, household cleaners, polishes, and even air fresheners. Keep your supply closet closed when you’re not using the products inside, and place the most harmful chemicals on a high shelf where pets aren’t likely to reach.

Medicine Cabinets

Did you know that many human medicines—aspirin, cough syrup, antidepressants, prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and more—can prove harmful if a pet ingests them? Never leave medication out on countertops or tables where pets may be able to reach them; after all, a determined pet may be able to chew right through a child-proof plastic cap. Also take care not to mix up your own medications and those of your pet, as this could prove extremely dangerous. Keep the two in separate cabinets if necessary.

The Laundry Room

Some pets—especially our feline friends—may enjoy getting into open laundry units to bed down on warm clothing. If the unit were to be closed and started with the pet still inside, disaster will ensue! Don’t leave washers or dryers hanging open, and always check inside before starting a load of laundry.


Windowsills aren’t very dangerous in the wintertime, when it’s too cold to open the windows, but keep this in mind for the summer: open windows present a falling hazard, especially for pets who lounge on the sill. In fact, veterinarians have a name for injuries sustained from falls: high-rise syndrome. Check all your windows before it gets warmer to make sure they have sturdy screens.

Would you like more advice on keeping your pet safe in your home? Call your Georgetown, IN veterinarian’s office today to speak with an animal-care professional.