Tag Archives: xylitol

Holiday Foods Your Pet Should Never Eat

If your family is like most, food is a big part of your holiday celebrations. Keep in mind that plenty of common holiday morsels aren’t safe for our four-legged friends! Below, your Floyds Knob, IN veterinarian tells you about a variety of foods to watch out for this time of year.

Sweet Treats

As you probably know, chocolate is a very dangerous pet poison—never allow your pet to ingest chocolate of any type or any food that contains chocolate. Candies, gum, and many baked pastry items aren’t safe either, as they’re often sweetened with a sugar substitute called xylitol. Xylitol can poison pets in very small amounts, so tightly restrict your pet’s access to any and all sweet treats.

Onions, Garlic, Scallions

It’s a safe bet that at least one dish on your holiday table will contain onions or garlic. Did you know that onions, garlic, scallions, shallots, chives, and leeks are all dangerous for pets? They’re all included in the allium food family, and they can cause toxic reactions in both dogs and cats. This goes for all varieties of these foods (cooked, raw, powdered, etc.). Keep your furry friend away!

Grapes, Raisins, Currants

Grapes, raisins, and currants have proven to be toxic to many of our canine and feline friends. Although it’s not clear what agent in these foods causes poisoning, and some pets seem to be able to ingest them without incident, it’s not worth taking the chance. Keep an eye on any holiday fruit trays that may contain these foods to make sure your pet doesn’t chow down.

Rich, Buttery, Fatty Foods

Too much rich or buttery food will undoubtedly cause an upset stomach, and it may lead to vomiting or diarrhea in many pets. An overload of fat at all once can even cause a very serious case of pancreatitis in some instances! Make sure that all dinner guests know not to slip your pet any table scraps without your consent.


Pets respond to alcohol just like humans do. The difference is, alcohol can poison a small pet in a very short time! If your holiday festivities will include alcoholic beverages, it’s important to keep a close eye on all drinks to make sure Fido or Fluffy doesn’t imbibe.

Would you like more advice on keeping your pet safe during the holidays? We’re here to help! Call your Floyds Knob, IN vet today.

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.