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Holiday Hazards for Cats and Dogs – Pet First Aid Tips



                        Holiday hazards for cats and dogs come in many forms


Holiday dangers for cats and dogs abound at Christmas and other holidays.

They aren’t non-existent during the year either, but our additional holiday foods, decorations and plants  — and the urge to share our special joys with our beloved pets adds to the holiday hazards for cats-dogs we need to be mindful of.  It’s too easy to forget  during the hustle and bustle just how dangerous something we think of as ‘safe’ or benign and ‘every day’ can be for our cats, dogs and other animals. 

 Here are some tips and reminders of what to avoid, be careful of….and should the horrible happen … some pet first aid tips to use in an emergency that may save your cats’ or dogs’ lives…and help assure a  a wonderful, joyous holiday celebration — instead of a horrible nightmare that will last a lifetime.



   People food of many kinds can be holiday dangers for cats and dogs.         PEOPLE  FOOD

  Never assume that OUR FOOD is Safe for our pets too!


Holidays are special and part of the joy is sharing the perks of celebrations with our pets.  But doing so could cause disaster.


Many of the things we can eat, our cats and dogs and other pets should not.   Mild upset to serious gastric and systemic problems – as well as death can result from eating some ‘people food’.   We ARE different species – and both have evolved to thrive on very different types of ‘menus’.


Cats and dogs don’t have the same metabolism or make up that we do. They evolved to consume natural foods that support their ultimate heatlh. While our cats and dog scan eat some of the things we do, unless you know for sure that a food or food substance will do no harm, it is wise – even essential – that you check it out first. 


Be safe — not sorry.   It is OK to share some holiday turkey or fowl with your cat or dog.  But BEWARE!


Avoid sharing holiday feasts with your cats-dogs. People food can be definite holiday hazards for our pets!FOODS TO AVOID!


  • If you use garlic or onion seasoning…. refrain from sharing this food with your cat or dog.  BOTH substances can be harmful to cats and dogs. 

  • Don’t feed cooked bones to your pets.  They can split, shatter and cause painful harm and death. 

  • Avoid feeding fatty items like goose, chicken or turkey skin to your pets.

  • Don’t allow pets to be fed or indulged ‘under the table’. Too much can go wrong — and too much food can cause problems as well. 

  • Chocolate is TOXIC for both cats and dogs!! If a TINY amount of milk chocolate has been consumed, they may fare OK…as there is less theobromine than in dark chocolate or cocoa — but why take the chance?  Keep ALL chocolate up high and away from access of your cats and dogs.  White chocolate does not have any of the toxic  theobromine, but mild digestive upsets can occur, none-the-less.



While these foods may seem benign – and some may feel that they had no problem when their pet or someone else’s ingested any of these items… BE AWARE that these foods can do SERIOUS DAMAGE and even cause the DEATH of your cat or dog!

  • If a previous experience was uneventful, there was likely either luck involved, VERY little ingested or the substance may not have been what you thought in the meantime. 

  • These foods have been shown REPEATEDLY to cause distress, harm and/or death in numbers of animals. Do you want to take the chance with YOURS?

KNOW in ADVANCE what can cause harm…and take steps to ASSURE your pets will NOT be exposed to them.



  • Keep your pets confined in a comfortable room so that uninformed guests don’t feed your pets something that will send you to the emergency clinic for your holiday celebration…or make an unforgettable horror memory of your Holiday celebration.


  • There is also the possibility that a little too much holiday ‘spirit’ can cloud OUR judgment as well.  So Plan in ADVANCE to assure these items are not available to be given to your pets so there are no regrets.  Only happy memories.


Avoid these toxic food hazards for your cats and dogs!AVOID THESE FOODS
                           FOR CATS – DOGS

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plums
  • Avocado – all parts
  • Coffee – all forms
  • Chocolate – all forms, especially high cocoa content. (common candy bars often have little chocolate and may not harm…but every animal is an individual case. Why take the   chance?!)
  • Eggplant (Nightshade family – avoid all)
  • Fatty foods, skins, gravy, bacon
  • Garlic, garlic powder
  • Grapes and Raisins ( can cause kidney failure in dogs — as few as 4 – 6)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Nutmeg
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Potato peelings and green looking potatoes (Nightshade family – avoid all)
  • Tomato leaves & stems (green parts) (Nightshade family – avoid all)
  •  Xyitol – artificial sweetener (such as found in gum and candies) Do NOT feed your cat or dog gum or Candy.. Or ANYTHING “Sugar Free”! This sweetener can be lurking there and can cause collapse and seizures
  •  Yeast dough




Garbage and left-overs can be harmful for cats and dogs to ingest!    GARBAGE  


Secure the can lid! Tie it down, weight it down…sit on it!    Whatever it takes.


Keep dangerous food items and refuse out of reach for your cats and dogs.


Once we have finished with the holiday meal…and we’ve been careful not to allow our cats or dogs access to harmful items, we need to remember that the garbage is a mighty enticing smorgasbord for wily cats and dogs.   Dogs and cats both may be enticed by the aromas…and ingest any of the above items or others and suffer serious repercussions.


Should a cat or dog swallow or chew pieces of cooked bones, it can be very painful and lethal — certainly requiring an emergency trip to the Clinic!  Raw bones are usually fine and often healthy if not too small to outright swallow.  Cooked bones — never!  They can too easily splinter.


It’s a Holiday! None of us want to spend time rushing our beloved pets to the emergency clinic.  — And then WORRY that they will survive!


Your cats and dogs will be unable to resist easy access to anything left out or unsecured, while you dream visions of sugar plums. So do some reconnaissance…think like your cat or dog…and put away, secure and keep out of reach any items they may be attracted to.



Christmas trees should be secured to avoid cats and dogs toppling them for a dangerous holiday hazard!CHRISTMAS TREES

  • Place them in a STURDY stand so that your kids and/or pets don’t cause them topple down on them dangerously.

    The sparkly, jingling ornaments and lights are irresistibly fascinating to cats and dogs.  And kids!  Add additional safeguards by securing your tree in place with cord or twine.  Remember — cats love to jump and dogs will climb too and try to reach items that tempt!


  • Keep the water of the tree off limits to your cats and dogs. The chemicals and tree sap within can sicken and even poison your pets.

    Use a tree skirt to secure and obstruct the basin and secure it shut. Towels, sheets or plastic can also do the job.


  • Best idea —  if possible – keep your tree in a room where access for your cats and dogs is prohibited.

    Keep the door shut and watch as you go in and out and warn family members to be extra watchful as well.


Shiny, twinkling ornaments, tinsel and deco are very enticing holiday dangers for our cats and dogs.

sparkly, jiggly Christmas ornaments can be pet hazards in waiting.   CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS         


  • Put any breakable pieces up higher  on your tree.


  • Limit the number you hang on your tree – Should any ornaments break, they can cause nasty, severe cuts. And shards can be swallowed which can prove fatal!



Pet First Aid Know-How  for cats and dogs can save lives. 


If your cat or dog should swallow any pieces of broken glass or other material,  here’s what to do:

  •  IMMEDIATELY feed them bread soaked in milk or cream…or soak cotton balls and do the same!

            –   Break them up in small enough pieces to swallow. 
            –   Make sure they are very moist so your cats and
                 pets  don’t choke!

           –   This softer matter helps bundle up the sharp
                pieces to get them through your pet’s digestive
                tract and eliminated

  • Get them IMMEDIATE Medical attention!




Christmas garlands and tinsel are attractive holiday dangers for your cats and dogs. Pets that love to chew can find tinsel, ribbons, garlands, bows and strings beyond resistible.  These items can attract your pets like kids to candy.  


Your cat or dog can suffer very serious injury to their intestines should sharp materials and mylar-type ojbects be swallowed.  Ribbons, string and bows can also be very harmful if chewed and swallowed.    


Make sure you have a system to keep the wrappings and garnishments safely away from your pets as you unwrap. Have everyone dispose of the wrappings in a large bag, tall bucket or garbage can so that your pets can’t get to them as you enjoy your focus on the gifting experience with one another, oblivious to what they might be doing. Dispose of these materials carefully, where your pets cannot access them later.


Christmas lights and cords pose severe holiday hazards for our cats and dogs.CHRISTMAS LIGHTS


Twinkling Christmas lights can make our hearts delight in their colorful show.   Our dogs and cats find them attractive too. 


But they also will discover all those extra wires attached and may find it quite adventurous to chew or claw them….which can lead to very serious injuries or death.


I saw the results of a neighbor’s cat that chewed through the cord of a plugged in lamp – and I’ll never forget the agony of the burns she suffered and the loss of their precious little love.  My heart still bleeds when I remember this poor little furry lass. The family was away at the time — and arrived home several hours later.  No vets or emergency clinics existed at the time for late night emergency help.  She suffered through the night to later die.


  • Avoid this dangerous heartbreak.  Get some foam pipe insulators or plastic plumbing tubing and enclose your cords by running them through them.  These can be obtained at hardware and big box improvement stores to keep these dangerous wires out of your pets’ reach — and mouths.


  • Always turn off your lights at night or when you aren’t present to supervise your pets. Fires can be easily started and far too many stories of unhappy holiday endings are already on the books.


  Be watchful of cats and pets escaping through opened doors and gates --we are often distracted at holiday time!     OPEN DOORS – GATES


Just when you need it the least during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, a cat or dog that slips out the door as guests arrive, or as you come and go – – usually distracted with armloads of packages and parcels — is a worry that can be avoided with some care.


Traffic is heavier during these times, your pets can get more distracted with all the sounds and sights of the season, and easily become lost and injured or run over.   Anti-freeze poisoning during these times is also a danger, as is the colder weather in winter snow climes. This poisoning is a HORRIBLE death you will never forget. 


I witnessed this too, and it haunts still.


Be SURE your pets have ID collars and tags and/or microchips should the worst happen.

Should you lose a pet, immediately set out to find them.

  • Check under shrubs, bushes, in sheds, garages, buildings. Behind stacked piles of objects like wood, outdoor items, look up into your trees.


  • If you have a fence, walk the route and call/look.  Your cat may have walked along it –on top or on the ground and found refuge in a neighbor’s yard .


  • Call friends and neighbors to help and/or watch for them  and look in their garages, shrubbery, fencelines, trees, etc….and post signs if you can’t find them right away.


  • Alert the vets in the area to keep watch for the pet you describe.


  • Give a color picture to your mail carrier and ask them to be on the lookout for your sweet kitty.


  • Keep looking, calling, set out some items with their scent in areas where they might try to come back in, as along fencing, gates, boundaries etc.


  • Make posters to give door-door  to neighbors and keep fanning out further and further from your base home.


  • If you have a roof that is accessible, look up!  I found one of mine on the porch roof – Thank Goodness!


  • Think like a cat — and look everywhere they might think to hide.  Get down on your hands and knees and survey the yard and landscape.  You may notice things you never saw before but that are very in-sight for your cat!


If you have guests coming, a good idea is to set up a special area for your cats and dogs and other pets to feel relaxed and away from the unknown people, smells – and give them their own haven to escape the stress of the chaos and/or additional items of danger to their well being.

  • Provide them comfortable beds, food, water, litter boxes, scratching posts etc. and have the leash handy if you need to take your dog out for a potty call and attach it before you take your dog out of the room.

  • This arrangement makes it more enjoyable for your guests as well as more peaceful and less stress-provoking for your pets.


Give your cat or dog or other pet (and yourself and your kids as well!) some calming herbs to alleviate stress.

  •  Apply a couple drops on the tongue or on the ears of Bach Pet Rescue Remedy, a natural, homeopathic tincture that soothes frayed nerves and emotions

  • They will be more relaxed and able will to savor more of the holiday spirit with less stress and emotional upheaval. 
    (Buy the Pet form of Bach Rescue Remedy — it does not contain the alcohol stabilizer, which could be harmful to cats and dogs.  If the human version is used…it should be diluted.)


Candles can be holiday hazards for cats and domestic pets!            Fireplaces and candles are dangerous hazards for cats, dogs and kids!  
                  CANDLES    ~      FIREPLACES      


It should be needless to say, but lit candles are a hazard for everyone.  And fireplaces ditto!  


And with pets in the house, who can easily jump up and knock candles over or get to dangerously close to them, they are  a major fire hazard.


Yet, year after year, we hear of people who turned their back for just a ‘few seconds’ and or left the room for a minute or two, only to find fire blazing…or a pet that has burned itself on the flames.   Cats can find flickering flames very attractive and stick their paws into the fire!  


Cats can paw at burning embers, get too close to the fire, jump off a ledge and accidentally fall into the fireplace … and a host of any other horrible scenarios. 


Just as we would protect our children, so should we provide all due diligence with our cats and pets.

Never leave them unattended in a room with any burning flames or hot embers, be they on  candles or in a fireplace.  Not even for a few seconds!  Accidents happen in split seconds! Make sure your fireplace has an adequate cover to keep all adventurous little beings out and away from danger.    

If you must leave a room, take your kids and pets with you and block off access until your return in a few minutes. NON-flame candles are a better choice over regular candles but even then, the cords and parts must be kept away from a chewing, jumping animal. (Enclose them in piping or foam as mentioned above).



    Cold weather means anti-freeze and salt de-icer - both dangerous pet hazards.   SALT and ANTI-FREEZE


Two winter pet dangers are salt used on sidewalks and driveways … and anti-freeze.


The latter can be a problem year round — but the fall and winter seasons are most dangerous, when people change out their auto fluids to ready for winter.  The smallest amount can cause an agonizing death.   Getting your cat or dog treatment immediately, inducing vomiting if it has ingested within the last two hours and IMMEDIATE emergency treatment are essential to give your cat or dog a chance to survive this highly toxic fluid.


Salt can cause nasty chemical burns on your dog’s and cat’s feet.  Wiping them off thoroughly when they come in can help.  If your dog will tolerate booties for its walk, you may want to consider this to help your dog stay healthy..and save you some cleaning work as well.   On your own premises, do what you can to use pet-safe products whenever possible.


Remain vigilant and always consider how anything you use or introduce to your household may affect your cats and dogs and other domestic animals.




Poinsettias aren't as dangerous as once thought.  But keep them up and away from your pets to avoid even minor upsets.

 Usually, gastrointestinal distress is the most common result of ingesting toxic plants or food.

However, toxicity can be mild to severe, depending on the amount ingested and the size of your cat or dog. The smaller the pet, the more severe can be the result.   –  Kittens and puppies are, therefore  in the highest danger zone. –  Elderly cats and dogs should also be given special attention to keep them safe.


Their ability to overcome toxic onslaughts to their systems is usually diminished as age advances, just as with us.   Depending on the amount of toxin your cat or dog ingests, the reaction can vary from mild to dangerous.


If your cat, dog or other pet swallows enough plant or food substance,  your pet can suffer nasty seizures, coma and even death.


Mild Toxicity Holiday Plants

  • Poinsettia

The Poinsettia has long been a holiday favorite.  I myself love the plant during this season, and the newest varieties add additional charm to the season.  


This plant has long been  considered very toxic for our cats and dogs. However, more recently, this belief has been cited as an urban legend dating back to 1919. Good News! Poinsettia sap is now considered mildly irritating to toxic, with a likely reaction of nausea or vomiting.  


As with any substance, however, even mild reactions aren’t fun experiences, and staying on the safe side and keeping your pets away from these plants is the best practice. One never knows how much will be ingested or the individual potential for greater harm for each individual cat or dog.  But the extreme toxicity once attributed to these lovely plants is not valid due to the most recent reports.

“Poinsettias are usually referred to as highly toxic, but they really aren’t. Feel free to display them at Christmas.”
— Dr. Dorothy Black, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVM),

–  See more at

Do note, however that, if the sap of the Poinsettia is rubbed on the skin, it may cause a rash to appear.

So display these beautiful holiday flowers and enjoy them!


But just because they aren’t ‘highly’ toxic doesn’t mean we should expose our pets unnecessarily, and if you have outright plant chewers especially, keep them away. Who enjoys stomach upsets and vomiting? Again, you never know if YOUR cat or dog is more susceptible than average … and vulnerable to far worse reactions than average.  

Play it safe and keep your pets and plants separated. Place the plants high enough where ‘chewers’ won’t have access or be able to knock them over to consume.


  • Christmas Tree

Our beloved Christmas trees are considered generally safe.  But if you have a cat or dog that tends to chew most anything, you should isolate your tree in a room that can limit pet access. 


Again, mild gastrointestinal upsets may happen if your cat or dog eats pine sap.    But also note that  the needles can cause painful corneal lacerations should your pet run into the sharp needles. Also,  pine needles, if ingested, can also cause gastric upset, and if enough are eaten, painful obstruction or bowel perforation can result.    So enjoy your holiday tree, but always err on the side of caution when you have pets around. And kids!      



Avoid toxic plants -  holiday dangers for cats and dogs!


Definite Toxicity – Moderate to Severe

  • Mistletoe and Holly

Mistletoe and Holly are two special holiday plants that definitely CAN cause serious problems for our cats and dogs. They are considered severely toxic.   If your pet has ingested any berries, leaves or any plant parts, be sure you call your poison control center, emergency vet clinic and/or your vet for advice and be prepared to take your pet for immediate medical attention.

  •  Amaryllis – Daffodil – Lilies

These lovely plants are other popular holiday plants at different seasons. These three, along with Narcissus and other plants in the daffodil and lily families are VERY toxic for cats and dogs. Severe gastrointestinal distress, cardiac arrhythmias, convulsions, kidney failure and death can result from ingestion of any parts of these plants – and especially the bulbs.  

Again…get your pet IMMEDIATE medical attentionSee below for instructions to induce vomiting. Call your local emergency clinic or vet (or have someone call while you are on the way — ) and prepare them that you are coming in with a poisoned animal that will need immediate care.



Be vigilant - protect your cats and pets from holiday hazards!



blue check ballBlkSML    Keep Your Pets Safe –
        Be Vigilant of Plants and Pets

  •  Take note of any interest in plants by your cats and dogs.

  •  Keep tabs on the plants you do have for chewed leaves and/or watch for vomited remains.

    Be prepared to take QUICK action if you suspect or know your cat or dog has ingested any toxic plants.

  • Play it safe — don’t use live plants considered toxic in your home.

    Try plastic or silk versions! (But be sure they don’t eat them either!)


   blue check ballBlkSML   Cat-Dog-Pet  SAFETY TIPS

  •  Keep poison control/ vet / emergency clinic PHONE NUMBERS where you can find them!


  •  Keep hydrogen peroxide and charcoal capsules handy to help alleviate immediate damage of any poison ingested

     * Do NOT induce vomiting for any caustic
           substance ingested!

  • Call your poison control number or medical help for advice while readying yourself for transport to the facility)   

  • Keep carriers handy for immediate transport to the proper facility for emergency medical treatment of your pets.

  •  Grow cat grass — wheat grass, oat grass, catnip to give your cats the greens they often crave – and help keep them away from your other houseplants as well as any toxic ones outdoors.   These ‘cat grasses’ not toxic, but highly beneficial and contain many nutrients and are said to contain many disease-fighting components.


For additional information on toxic plants for cats (dogs) — Read More About Toxic Garden Plants for Cats  


Pets as gifts  - best brought home after holiday chaos.

Giving cats, dogs or other domestic pets as gifts is a heartwarming thought, but it is not the best idea.

First, one needs to make sure that the recipient is prepared and ready for all the responsibility that this new, cuddly, living, feeling being will need for a LIFETIME.   Living creatures, no matter what species, require consistent attention, care, good food, healthy, clean private quarters of their own to retreat to for deserved and necessary peace and privacy, and of course, they all deserve love.  

A lifetime of nurture and care includes nutritious, species appropriate food, health care and incidentals such as beds, toys, grooming items, toilet areas and supplies – and all the incidentals that the particular pet will need.

  • Giving an animal as a ‘surprise’ gift is never recommended. Human caretaker and pet companion may not hit it off – personalities can clash.


  • The home may not be situated to accommodate this new little life, making it very unfair – and very unhealthy for both the recipient and family and most of all for the little cat, dog or other pet that has NO voice in the choices being made for them.


  • If the recipient is unable to provide the financial back up to care properly for this life, the ensuing bad feelings and distorted relationship are likely a given, leading to unhappy results for all living beings in the picture. And too often, the death of the sweet ‘gift’ that was intended as a source of lifelong joy


Assuming that a cat, dog or other pet is welcomed and all the other aforementioned requirements are in place, introducing the pet to the family as a gift on Christmas…or  any holiday or special event where normal routines are in the background for the duration, is NOT a good thing for the animal or for the family.


Bringing a new ‘family’ member into the household where there is lots of commotion, smells, noise, other people, confusion, etc. — is not the best time to introduce them. Nor is it a good time for the family to establish the gentle, special bonds that are needed to get these lives together off on the right foot. There are just too many distractions and too much commotion to be healthy for a new little life to try to figure out where they fit in, who is who, what the dangers are in the new environment, where they can find to feel at ‘home’ and just how to deal with all the sensations that are surrounding them in times of such as these.  And human family members are too often stressed, distracted and overwhelmed with holiday events, prep and emotions.  


Time and normal routines need special attention by the family to help their new furry family member to adjust to their new life. Holidays and special events don’t afford that option usually. Most of us have far too many distractions to add yet additional responsibilities of care, concern and nurture for a new life that will be depending on you to help it understand, learn and adjust.  


Children in the home are usually far too excited to focus on proper care and concern for a living, breathing cat, dog or other pet with their own issues to handle.   Teaching our kids to properly care for another life is part of the responsibility for the privilege of pet companionship. Holiday time and/or other special events out of the normal routine are not good times to undertake these important tasks that will set the stage for success or failure for your lifetimes.


Save a life - Adopt a cat, dog or other pet from a rescue sanctuary. Prepare a special room for your new love to get acquainted - especially if you take them home over holidays!    By all means, visit a sanctuary/shelter and SAVE a LIFE!

  • Preferably, take the new family members with you to help members and the new pet to ‘choose’ each other.

  • Then ask the shelter to hold that animal for you until after the holidays.


It is more comforting to think of having that animal out of the more ‘sterile’ caged atmosphere of a shelter…and if it isn’t the best circumstance for your new little life, then by all means, take it home.  But before you do — make a few special arrangements for your newest little family love.


 Prepare an out-of-the-way area or room for your new little heartthrob to become accustomed to you and the new family when holiday celebrations and other people are in your home or expected.


Give your new family member time to learn about its environment and that it is ‘safe’.   It needs time to investigate, smell, learn about you and other family members, and get its bearings.   Once the festivities are over, the hub-bub is done and all are back to routines, start to introduce you little love to the other areas of the household and show it little by little the ‘house rules’ and help it learn how to function and fit in with your family.


Meanwhile, during the holidays, you and each of your family members can spend more quiet moments, taking turns, to allow your new cat, dog or pet to get to ‘know’ you, your scent, your habits, how you show your love and affection, and allow it to learn how to show you back.


You are establishing solid, loving bonds in the interim without the confusion of holiday hassles and concerns, and can focus on what this new little life needs to feel safe and loved.   Your cat, dog and other pet can’t tell you or ask…It is our responsibility to this new life to think ahead and show, teach and help our new little cuddles how to fit in as quickly and easily as possible.   The love you give will be returned many times over.


Take time and give time and your long future ahead will be far smoother and loving bonds will be established that will make life sweet for you and your adorable new furball.






Stay alert for plant poisoning and get your cat immediate medical attention if symptoms show!

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, call a poison control center for advice – or the emergency center or your vet as you prepare to transport them for treatment. (or have someone else assist you with either of these tasks if possible to save as much time as possible.)

If you know what they have ingested, be sure to inform them.

If your pet shows ANY Signs of Poisoning

· lethargy   · difficulty breathing   · low heart rate   · immovability  · convulsions   · a change in mental function   · difficulty breathing  . low heart rate —   or ANY Unusual Behavior 


  • If your vet is closed…get your pet to an Emergency Clinic

  • If you believe your pet may have ingested ANTI-FREEZE— it MUST be treated within 4 – 6 hours to give any chance of survival…before irreversible kidney damage has resulted!   



  Holiday dangers for cats-dogs include poisons from many sources!  POISON PURGE  


If your cat, dog or other pet ingests any toxic substance follow these guidelines to determine if you SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT  induce VOMITING.


blue check ballBlkSML   INDUCE VOMITING

—  UNLESS  a CAUSTIC substance (drain cleaner,
    petroleum distillate, bleach
)  has been ingested.




                       DO INDUCE VOMITING
if your pet has swallowed Antifreeze within the past two hours


Get them

   + DO NOT DELAY –  DO NOT Seek Online Help  


                                                                                                    MINUTES CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SAVING YOUR CAT’S LIFE!



                              TO INDUCE VOMITING:

  • 1 tsp. (3%) hydrogen peroxide: 10 lbs of body weight.                                

                                           – OR

  • 1 tsp. table salt diluted in 1 TBS. water for every 10 lbs
    of body weight

             * Syringe the fluid into your cat’s mouth.            

           * Mix it into honey or ice cream or another tasty fluid or    
              broth for
 a dog.  Or syringe in.                       

            * Get your dog and cat moving as best you can to help
              get the peroxide working.


If your pet has not vomited in 10-15 minutes, Repeat!  Meanwhile – prepare to get your pet MEDICAL  ATTENTION immediately.

Never give more than 2 treatments of hydrogen peroxide Any further treatments —  must be given by Vet.

Get your pet to the VET – EMERGENCY RIGHT AWAY!

  NOTE: — If your pet has ingested the toxin within 2 hours …vomiting can help clear it from the stomach.  — If beyond two hours — it will NOT help — as it has entered the small intestine.  

blue check ballBlkSML   DO NOT INDUCE

  • IF Your Pet has swallowed a CAUSTIC SUBSTANCE.

    Vomiting can cause further damage and burns as it comes up

  • IF toxin has been ingested more than two hours ago.

    It will not help.  The toxin has entered the small intestine.

  • IF Your pet is already throwing up.  Do NOT cause additional vomiting.

    You can make things worse!

  • IF Your Pet is unconscious, weak or finds it difficult to stand.

    You can cause aspiration pneumonia, which happens when vomit gets into the lungs, creating an additional dangerous problem.


 Use these first aids to help delay absorption of toxins while getting your cat to emergency help. ABSORPTION DELAY of TOXINS


If your pet has ingested some poisonous food or plants, you can give some first aid to delay the absoprtion of the toxin with ACTIVATED CHARCOAL, which you can obtain easily at most pharmacies. ( Or conveniently, below.  My local pharmacies don’t seem to carry this)

  • Capsules are best.

          – Sprinkle the contents on their tongue. 
          – This treatment also helps dogs prone to eating

  • Get your cat, dog or other pet to Emergency treatment Immediately.

  • Have someone call ahead for you if possible to alert them that you are on your way and that immediate attention will be needed.  

    hydrogen peroxide  (Regular household – 3% ONLYnot the kind used in hair color — too concentrated!) and activated charcoal on hand for  pets.





 Keep Emergency numbers for vet, emergency clinic and poison control where you can easily find them.  ASPCA

                     Got a Poison Emergency?                                                    

                      Call (888) 426-4435

       · 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

      · A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.


  Know which plants are toxic for your cats - dogs. Avoid holiday dangers for your pets!  TOXIC PLANT LISTS – 
                               Cats | Dogs | Horses

Check THIS ASPCA Resource to find out what plants may be of harm to your pets!  

 ~   ~   ~

Keep Xmas and Holidays free of hazards for your cats and dogs.

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6 Responses to “Holiday Hazards for Cats and Dogs – Pet First Aid Tips”

  • Kirk B:

    Your content on this site is excellent. I enjoyed the helpful Pet Safety Tips as well as suggestions on how to give back with your cats just now.

    I admire all the work you put forth, both here and in your sanctuary/hospice. Do you ever stop to breathe? 😉

    Please find my donation to your further work at your “SPIRIT FUND”.

    I hope it will help you through the holidays and beyond.

    Blessings to you and your lucky little furball rescues!

    • Prrrrsonal Thanks for your kind words and generosity, Kirk! This deeply grateful expression of gratitude comes far later than hoped, but no less sincere!

      These past weeks of ‘celebration’ have been very busy HoliDaZe here… :-) So your kindness is additionally, very timely!

      I just took in yet another lost, elderly rescue over the holidays — no one wants to claim. He is obviously someone’s ‘baby’…or was…but there is NO response to a very active effort to find his former family. He has become, therefore, one of our forever loves here at Oasis.

      Severe infections, covered in feces, freezing, very skinny, and not neutered, which means likely other disease that will be discovered when he is well enough to test. And this may be why no one claims him..they may be shirking the work or expense needed by this elderly cat. :-(

      All paws up and unbridled, vibrating purrs from our little furball hearts here…each and every one…for your kindness and support.

      Bountiful Blessings back to you for a New Year of health, fulfillment and All Best Wishes for unbounded happiness. On behalf of little Spirit and his Namesake Fund,Thank You for your heart that reached out to help me continue to give help to more little lost, voiceless lives in such desperate need.

      Sincerest Thanks from the bottom of our hearts, again, Kirk, for your special thoughts, kindness and loving soul.

      With Humble Appreciation,


  • Addy S.:

    GREAT help this! Appreciate the First Aid Tips as well.

    Never realized such ‘good’ stuff could be so ‘bad’. We really don’t stop to think that everything we can eat…other species can’t. Thanks for the info – could save some lives!

    • Hey Addy!

      Yes…seemingly ‘safe’ foods can severely sicken and kill our beloved cats and other pets. I was surprised too.

      Knowing some First Aid tips in advance can mean the difference between saving and losing a precious pet.

      Glad you found us and so glad to know I’ve been of help!

      Best Regards,


  • Ned B:

    Hey TopCat! Glad I found this. Really appreciate the Pet Emergency care tips and all the other info and scenarios I really never thought about.

    With Easter coming up, this is just as important and pertinent. And I see you have titled it ‘holiday hazards’ so you likely had it in mind!

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’ — it will keep me more vigilant as family gathers and pets beg for treats from the table and potentially hazardous holiday baskets and such!

    • Hi Ned!

      Yes — very astute! All Holidays tend to provide ample hazards for our cats, dogs and other pets!
      For Easter, in addition to all the chocolate and other sweets and dangerous deco items…don’t forget that the popular Lilies and Daffodils are very toxic for cats! Admire them …but place them up high in a SECURE area where cats can’t jump up to them or knock them down. And watch for falling leaves and such that cats and dogs might be tempted to chew. If in doubt, be sure to check the ASPCA links on toxic plants!

      Thanks for your input…and help…in reminding everyone that every day is caution day…but Holidays usually need some extra precautions due to the number of items we introduce to our households — and the distractions unlimited that keep us from sometimes thinking ahead and staying focused on cat and pet safety!

      Special Cat nuzzles to you!


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