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The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 8 - Chocolate)


DAY 8: Chocolate

Hopefully you’re already aware that chocolate is bad for dogs, but do you know why?

Do you know which types of chocolate are the worst?

Do you know what signs would give you cause for concern if your dog gets into chocolate – or if you think they might have?


Chocolate is too common a gift this time of year, and it’s present in too many holiday-baked goods to not mention again. There’s lots that you likely aren’t yet aware of, and your pets will benefit from. Read our article on chocolate toxicity to learn more.

At this time of year, be cautious

  • Don't leave chocolate (or chocolate-containing foods) under the tree. Wrapped or not, your pets are sure to sniff them out and help themselves. Advise your friends, family, and other guests of this too, and though he should know better, be sure to mention it to Santa as well (perhaps write it on the note that you're planning to leave for him next to the milk and cookies.

  • Be careful what 'stuffers' you put in the stockings, and be sure to hang them well out of reach of your pets.

  • Don't leave desserts out on low-lying tables or near the edge of countertops. Be sure your guests and children are similarly cautious.
  • Be careful when doing the holiday baking... from chocolate chips (especially if dark) and chocolate bars to cocoa powder and blocks of chocolate, holiday baking often includes chocolate in quantities that can easily land your pet in the Animal ER.

  • Make sure your overnight houseguests keep their suitcases and other bags off the floor and that they keep the door to their room (and bathroom) securely closed as well. After all, you never really know what overnight guests bring in their suitcase, do you?
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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Health, pet safety tips, pet safety, chocolate toxicity, holiday pet safety tips, chocolate toxicity in dogs, Christmas pet hazards, Pet safety and houseguests

Pet Safety – When Holiday Houseguests Come to Visit


Gifts, holiday foods, and food preparation materials aren’t the only dangers your pets are likely to face during the holiday season. Along with the presents, wrapping, and large meals common this time of year, this is also often a time for a revolving door of house visitors and overnight guests. And whether those guests are neighbors and friends popping in briefly from down the street, or friends and family coming to stay from across the country, many will inadvertently bring with them toxins and other pet hazards that could ruin your holiday and deplete your bank account. With some important awareness and some simple precautions, you’ll be able to welcome your friends and family warmly and with open arms, without compromising your pet’s safety and well-being.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Lilies, Xylitol, holiday safety, Cats, chocolate toxicity in dogs, Dog, Dog Tips, Cat Tips, Christmas pet hazards, Pet Hazards at Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Safety, Christmas pet dangers, Pet safety and houseguests, Poinsettias

Chocolate: The Most Well-Known-About, Yet Still Common, Dog Toxin


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: Dog Safety, Dog Health, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity, chocolate toxicity dogs, dog chocolate toxicity, canine chocolate toxicity, dogs chocolate toxicity, dark chocolate toxicity in dogs, chocolate dogs toxicity, chocolate toxicity, holiday pet safety tips, dogs and chocolate toxicity, chocolate toxicity in dogs

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.

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