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    Why is Chocolate Toxic for Pets?


    Most pet owners already know that chocolate is bad for dogs. In fact, so many people are aware of this common toxicity that veterinary hospitals across the country regularly receive phone calls from pet owners concerned because they realized their pet just ate some chocolate – even if that pet is a 65-pound Labrador Retriever that just ate a few M&Ms.

    So in this article, we won’t focus on the fact that chocolate is bad for pets – you (hopefully) already know that. We’re going to focus on why chocolate is toxic, which types of chocolates are the worst, and what signs you should look for in the event you suspect chocolate toxicity.

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    Topics: pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity, chocolate toxicity, holiday pet safety tips

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 3 - Mistletoe)


    DAY 3: Mistletoe

    Before you pucker up to kiss your sweetheart, be sure that bunch of mistletoe is well secured to the door jam. Though a strategically placed sprig of mistletoe may get you that Christmas "snog" you've been dreaming about all year, it may also land your dog or cat in the hospital if it falls to the ground or they find another way to get their paws on it.

    Be aware

    Even when eaten in small quantities, mistletoe can cause your pets excessive drooling and digestive upset. The latter of which may manifest as vomiting and diarrhea - which kinda ruins the thought of the previously mentioned snog I guess, doesn't it? But even bigger problems are in store for your pet if they ingest a larger quantity of this common Christmas decoration.

    In these situations your pet may experience heart and/or neurologic problems, which could include abnormal heart rate and rhythm, decreased blood pressure, and a staggered walk. If left untreated, these signs can progress to collapse, seizures, coma, and even death. Now I've really ruined the thought of the snog, haven't I? I'm sorry, truly, I am... but you really should be aware of this.

    If your pet has ingested any quantity of mistletoe...

    ...you should seek immediate veterinary advice. You can do so from your regular veterinarian, the local Animal ER, or from a dedicated animal poison control hotline . Though severe toxicity from mistletoe is uncommon, many factors will influence the degree of toxicity your pet will experience should they be unfortunate enough to ingest it. And as with all potential or known toxicities, you should not delay in seeking professional veterinary advice. The sooner appropriate actions are taken, the greater the chances that a better outcome will be realized.

    Preventing mistletoe toxicity

    • If you hang mistletoe in your home, be sure it's well secured.
    • Take the berries off of any mistletoe you hang in your home.
    • Be careful when putting up (and taking down) your holiday decorations; do not leave the mistletoe laying around where your pets can get to it.
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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity, Plants Poisonous for Cats, holiday pet safety tips, Vomiting, Poison control, Christmas pet hazards, Diarrhea, Neurological problems, Plants Poisonous for Dogs, Mistletoe

    Lesser Known Pet Toxicities: Human Pain Relievers and Cats Don't Mix


    Accidental poisoning is one of the most common reasons people bring their pets in for an emergency veterinary visit or call animal poison control each year. Toxicity caused by human pain relievers is one of the most preventable pet toxicities. Just a little awareness and simple changes to routine will prevent the majority of pets from accessing and eating little pills. The toxic results of ingestion can include damaged red blood cells, gastrointestinal ulceration, and liver or kidney failure, among other things.

    Think about it — most of the time, pain relievers and supplements intended for people are found in medicine cabinets or personal bags and purses. It’s easy enough to hang bags and purses on a high hook instead of throwing them on a chair when you get home at night — that eliminates the opportunity for pets to access them there.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity, toxicity in cats, medication, poison control center phone number, poison control number, medications, drugs, medicine, pet poison control free, poison control hotline, poison control center number, pet poison control, prescription drugs, Poison control, Poison control for cats, Blog

    Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

    Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.