May Your Holidays Be Merry (Not Sad) Be Careful and Watchful For the Welfare of Your Pet. Original post 12/21/2011 Repost

Dog Puppy 037

Puppy. Border collie (smooth) and Australian shepherd cross. Photo taken about 2013.


I posted this about six years ago.. This is a repost at the request of Da al. this post.  She has my permission to reblog. Please excuse any typos. I have not been in the best mood of late since I had Beasley, the cat, “put down” this past Saturday. A week ago I had my pit bull, Lucky (14 years old approximately) euthanized. So the loss of two pets in a week is a bit much. But I am ok.

A time for many to celebrate but if your pet eats or chews on something that is toxic or that can cause real harm to the animal’s body then there isn’t much to be happy about. There are so many things that are deadly or can make your pet sick that this list, as I type sort of makes me feel ill.

So on with the warnings- do not take this information idly. These are real hazards.

1. Christmas trees that are real and in a container of water: the water can become toxic just from the tree which leaches a pesticide residue that had been applied at the tree farm.

2. Water that the tree is standing in can become moldy- keep the water container covered if the tree is one that was fresh cut.

3. Artificial trees if chewed on and swallowed can cause severe damage to the intestinal track of a cat or dog. Supervise your pet and if you can’t, then keep your pet in a crate or in a closed room.

4. Antifreeze- from a leaking radiator in the garage- Antifreeze attractive to many pets. The taste is sort of sweet and some animals will lick or drink it. This stuff is deadly if you can not get your pet to an ER immediately. With rapid treatment your pet can be saved. Otherwise your Fluffy or Fido is doomed. No ifs or buts. Antifreeze fries the kidneys.

So on to foods we go: Do not allow your pet to taste or eat any of the following. Some of the foods/drinks will cause death or serious illness.

1. Alcohol  

2. Avocado

3. Chocolate- not any kind. Don’t take a chance and try to analyze the kind of chocolate ( dark  is extremely toxic.)

3. Fatty foods

4. Macadamia nuts, peanuts

5. Moldy or spoiled foods

6. Grapes and raisins

7. Yeast dough

8. Xylitol (this ingredient is in some chewing gum and used as a sweetner in some foods. Extremely toxic.

9. Garlic, garlic powder, onion and onion powder

10. Any flower that is growing from a bulb  or is a member of the lily family (these are killers also.) Damages the kidneys unless you get immediate treatment. Can begin kidney damage within minutes. Don’t take chances with any flower- just don’t bring them into your home.  Cats especially like to chew on fresh greenery. Some of the flowers of the lily family are sure fire killers.

11. Ornaments and electric cords/lights. Keep your pet away from the tree.

12. Don’t use use tinsel. Cats are attracted to the long dangling  strands. If eaten the tinsel can bind into a ball and block the intestinal tract or the tinsel, ribbon, or string can wind around parts of the intestines. These things also can kill you animal if surgery is not performed to remove the “foreign bodies.” 

 13. Some information says that coffee is also bad.

14. Mushrooms. Don’t allow your pet to acquire a taste for mushrooms. Veterinarians believe and other authorities that if a pet eats a commercially grown mushroom then it is more likely to hunt for these when outdoors. We all know that there are mushrooms growing in the wild that are poisonous. Some look like a toy and some look like a ball. I’ve seen my own dogs want to play with mushrooms that were “pretty balls” and I had to quickly destroy the mushroom and give a firm no to my dogs.

15. Medications of any kind, especially chewable human and pets meds. I have a chocolate lab named Molly that opened the bottom of a cabinet where I had stored some empty med bottles that I had washed and intended to use for who knows what. Molly found an empty Vetmedin (chewable heart med for dogs) bottle and chewed the bottle hoping to get something delicious. Some dogs love to eat and big dogs really love to eat. So child proof your cabinets or dog proof them.

16. One last caution while I’m “thinking.” This is one that I personally experienced. About eight or nine years ago, Puppy, my border collie and Australian shepherd cross jumped into the compost pile which was not fully “ripe.” I always added vegetable and fruit scraps and these were still in the decomposing stage. Puppy either ate a piece of the compost or licked some from his paws. Thank God I was outside with my dogs (I usually am). About 30 minutes after I had gone into the house with the dogs I noticed that he was very droopy and salivating excessively. He was very listless and I knew that he was in trouble. I called my vet and rushed him to the clinic. I told the vet that he had been  playing in the pile of compost and she then told me that compost can be very toxic if in the “right stage” of decomposing. She quickly gave him some injections and Puppy was ok after several hours.

17.Poinsettias. (a thank you to Dr. Laura for the reminder) Can be toxic and cause respiratory problems. Not considered deadly but please be careful>

The bottom line of this list is that you can’t be too careful if you are a pet parent.

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68 thoughts on “May Your Holidays Be Merry (Not Sad) Be Careful and Watchful For the Welfare of Your Pet. Original post 12/21/2011 Repost

  1. Nice and very useful info. This article was important to me. Thank you.
    Happy New Year dear.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing lots of details. I really like this post. Amazing write-up.

  3. chatou11 says:

    Hi Yvonne, I come here as I have not the possibility to reply twice on my blog.
    We can find Digitalis I think in all Europe but specially in Finland. Have a nice day

  4. chatou11 says:

    All the best for you son, Yvonne. Yes very bad pain contributes to depression.

    • Thank you Chantal, for your kind thoughts. My son continues about the same with very short bursts of productive activity and then he is back to bed again. I hope that at some point he will be better but it might take years.

  5. Val says:

    I’m so sorry about Beasley and Lucky. It’s never easy losing pets, particularly through voluntary euthanasia. Hugs.

    Thankfully I don’t have the problem with pets and all the foods and substances that you mention in this post, as you know I don’t have dogs or cats, but the wild birds we feed also have their own “no-no’s” that a lot of people aren’t aware of. For instance, while it’s bad for cats and dogs (and humans), birds need saturated fats, which is why suet is so good for them. Many eat birdseed that contains non-saturated fats, but it’s unwise to feed them anything other than seed that is unsaturated – for instance, home-cooked treats – as they can’t get warm enough from it. Certain shapes that people use in their gardens aren’t really very good psychologically for birds, for instance bird feeders and bird houses in the shape of birds – are often interpreted by small passerines, etc, as birds of prey. Many people in the UK (and maybe elsewhere) put out bacon rinds for them because the birds like the fat that’s on them, but it doesn’t occur to them that most of that meat has had very strong preserving agents added to them (ie, sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate) and that’s definitely bad for birds. I’m sure there’s more, but it doesn’t come to mind at the moment.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I have as of 1/14/18 lost three cats and one dog. I have stewed and brewed about the coming loses due to age and knowing that either cancer, renal failure or heart failure would be the cause of my animals demise. More deaths are coming and I stay in a constant state of anxiety and depression. I really need to learn how to deal with the illnesses and deaths.

      But moving on, that is good advice about feeding of the birds and I think that is something that would be a worthy post in your blog. Many people do not know these facts and that is good info. I am not feeding the birds this winter-yet. There is a good supply of seeds from the wildflowers in my yard and also berries from trees, some that are native and one that is non-native but grows in many places in the city. My trees are loaded with hackberries, Japanese ligustrum, cherry laurel, yaupon holly, and possum haw holly.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about the losses of two pets 😦 and in such a short time. Thanks for the list. I’m going to share it with the family. My people think our dogs are people too, and though they are family members, they aren’t exactly “people.” Wishing you a Happy New Year with your 4-legged and 2-legged friends. 😀

    • Thank you D. for your words of sympathy. I feel honored that you will/have shared the list with your family. I don’t remember if I have anti-freeze on that list and I need to go back and check on that. I wrote it about five years ago. Anti-freeze is so toxic that only a lick of the paws can kill a cat or dog or for that matter many other animals I am sure. That is why it is so important to have your dog in sight and supervised at all times. Cats should not be allowed to roam free outside the house. A leaking radiator from a vehicle on the street, a carport, drive way or garage is enticing to cats and dogs because it has a sweet taste. It quickly damages the kidneys and the pet will die. If you know or suspect that your pet has licked anti-freeze the dog or cat must be rushed immediately-no delay to a vet. The vet knows what to do for anti-freeze poisoning.

  7. So sorry for the loss of your be.oved pets. Never easy.


  8. chatou11 says:

    Hi Yvonne, I am so sad for you for the loss of Lucky and finally you lost Beasley who was ill.
    Even you say you are alright I know that the loss of two pets we love is difficult.
    I want to wish you a better Year full of joy and happy days for you and your family. I hope your son feels better now.
    Will pray for your two other cats.
    Much love from chatou

    • Hello Chantal and thank you for your sympathy. I am wishing you a lovely New Year as well.

      My son looks and acts normal but he is in pretty severe chronic back pain and is not on any pain meds. He remains very depressed and I feel the painful back is contributing to depression. When the Medicare insurance kicks in (July) I am hoping that he can have another back surgery.

      Love to you too.

  9. Nice And Very useful info,This article important the for me is.Thanks to the writer.
    Happy New Year Dear…..

  10. I’m so so sorry about the loss of your two precious pets, Yvonne. I know how much it hurts. We’re in year 4 of losing our golden Henry, and still. Still, it hurts. He was just a being with so much light and love. One of the things he did that drove me crazy, though, was (ready?) eat horse poop. In the house we lived in when we first became Henry’s parents (at 8 weeks old) we were close to a horse farm. I’d take Henry for long walks on the paths near there, and if he saw horse poop – he’d race away for a meal. I never heard that this was unsafe, but I still didn’t want him doing that. He never understood why I’d yell NO every time he even thought about it. 🙂 And once he got an entire stick of butter and ate it (with the paper ON). He looked a bit sick after that, but recovered in a day. And he never lost his appetite for butter. Haha. These are the memories of our beloved pets that stay with us forever and help the pain of the loss. I hope you are able to keep your memories warm inside you.
    Feel better, and thanks for this great re-blog.

    • Pamela, thank you for the kind and thoughtful words. I remember from several years back that you had written in a comment about Henry, your golden. I have never had a golden retriever but from what I have seen and read, they are a remarkable breed that make unforgettable pets. I can well imagine him being a chow hound for all things disgusting and also food from the kitchen and anywhere. I have never figured out why some dogs love other animal’s feces but maybe it is a hard wired trait that is inherited from their ancestors of so long ago. I have one of two labs (Muddy died of cancer two years ago.) Molly, his side kick opens bottom cabinet doors and looks for food. I have since learned not to put any canned food where there is a remote possibility that get something to eat.. She bites the can open and eats the contents. She has never caused her mouth to bleed.

  11. da-AL says:

    just reblogged this, Yvonne – many tx again! hope you like how it looks on my site & that it brings lots of my readers to your lovely site 🙂

    happy holidays to you & yours ❤

  12. […] animals everywhere and at all times of the year is important to fellow blogger, Yvonne Daniels. On her blog, she writes, “I was born and reared in the same county where I have lived my entire […]

  13. da-AL says:

    Reblogged this on Happiness Between Tails by da-AL and commented:
    Guest Blog Post: “May Your Holidays be Merry (Not Sad) Be Careful and Watchful for the Welfare of Your Pet,” in Yvonne Daniel’s exact words

    Helping animals everywhere and at all times of the year is important to fellow blogger, Yvonne Daniels. On her blog, she writes, “I was born and reared in the same county where I have lived my entire life. I grew up on a farm in central Texas and as a toddler, I already loved the animals, especially the cats, dogs, horses, and mules.” For many years I have not eaten anything that is hoofed or feathered. I sometimes eat fish.” Here she shares her wisdom for keeping our furry friends safe and healthy over the winter holidays…

    • Thank you for the repost. I hope it was/is ok. I think I made a few corrections in my original post- spelling and typos. I tend to find one to three or more typos and poor sentence construction in just about every post. I don’t make it a habit to look but sometimes I do. 🙂

      • da-AL says:

        if misery loves company, then the reality is that this happens to all of us. I usually use grammarly but still find stuff I want to fix later…

        • I don’t use grammarly- just can’t afford another expense. Once upon a time I had it about two computers back. It was the simplified- not sure- and free version. I suppose it was only good for a certain time period.

        • I just went over the list and made some corrections again but when I reviewed the changes, it did not update. I am tired and it is a few minutes past midnight. I’ll try again tomorrow-maybe.

  14. Since we lost the “Grumpy Old Man” we don’t have any pets. instead we just doggy sit for my son now and again. A lovely little cock-a-poo. I can sympathise with losing a beloved animal, it really hit me with Grumpy, but to lose two at this time of the year, or any time for that matter, I’m not so sure how I’d take it.

    Take care of yourself….

    • Hello Mike and thanks for commenting. Grumpy was such a special dog and I can see how you would not want another dog. But getting to pet sit for your son has to be a bit special. The cock-a-poo is a lovely little dog. So cute and small. I think they are adorable. It was very difficult to lose two pets with in a week but I was sort of prepared because I knew it was only a matter of time. Having other pets to care for helps a great deal but Beasley the cat was super special to me. I hand raised him and his 3 litter mates but he was like a healer cat for me. He sat on my chest for 4 years beginning with the afib thing. When I was very ill with chronic fatigue and afib he did not leave my side. He would purr and stare into my eyes. In March of this year I was extremely ill with the flu and my afib was out of control. I could see in his eyes that he was concerned about me. He had lymphoma for more than 2 years and I managed to give him more time with chemo and hemp. Chemo ruined his kidneys and I had to stop the chemo. I gave him sub cu fluids every day for over a year.

  15. This was a really helpful post. I have a kitten so it meant a lot.

  16. I don’t let my cats into the garage any more. The place is dangerous in many respects. You’re list is pretty comprehensive.

    • Hello Greg and than you for commenting. I appreciate any additional information. I think you are wise to know that a garage has many dangers lurking. One never knows if there is a leaking radiator and anti freeze is on the floor. There are so many things that are stored in a garage that are potentially dangerous, as well. Hoping you and the cats have a very nice Christmas.

      • You won’t believe this, but yesterday when i went into the garage, Marigold my cat sneaked in behind me, and I didn’t see her. I locked her out there. An hour later I thought I heard meowing, opened the door, and in she came. Unfortunately she was limping, and I had to take her to the vet. She did something to herself out there. She has a painful muscle and is under observation. Great, my advice, should have taken it!

        • Gee, Greg, I am so sorry Marigold pulled a sneaky on you. Two of my cats have been bad about going out the back door when I let out the dogs. A couple of times I did not know they were outside. Almost gave me a heart attack when I realized they were missing. Luck was on my side because when I went out with a can of wet food and banged on the can with a spoon, they came running. Now I know that I must be super careful when I open the back door. Of late neither one of the sneakers has tried to get out.

          I am so sorry that Marigold hurt her leg. I hope she is all better very soon. But don’t beat yourself up over it. “Stuff happens.” We live and learn. I tell my cats all the time that they are “killing me.” They are often a pain but I love my cats and I know you love yours very much too.

        • Marigold is walking normally today Saturday morning. Tempest in a teapot!

        • I am so glad that Marigold is ok as of Christmas Eve. Thank you for letting me know. I bet she won’t try that anymore after getting hurt out there.

  17. sybil says:

    Condolences on the loss of two of your beloved companion animals

    • Hi Sybil. Thank you for the words. I am doing ok since I have other pets to love and care for. I do miss my cat though. Lucky was a very sweet pitty who did not like other male dogs. He lived outside but he had a huge dog house with a concrete floor, a heat lamp in the winter and nice thick bed. I also used a large shop fan for him in the summer and my back yard was fenced and shady. He had apparently been a fighting dog. He arrived at my house and it took months for me to get near him. He was covered in scars, had a metal collar riveted to his neck that was attached to a short chain that was broken. He was approximately 14 years old when his legs finally gave out. I gave him hemp and all kinds of supplements plus B12 shots for the past year. He also had heart worms when he showed up at my house.

  18. sybil says:

    The compost one is new to me.

    Merry New Year

  19. Littlesundog says:

    Yvonne, I am so sorry to hear you have lost two sweet friends in such a short time. I lost two of my old dogs last year within about seven months of each other and that was difficult. Overall, you have had a lot to deal with over the last couple of years. Please take care of yourself, my friend. And thank you for reminding us to be extra careful with our pets this time of year.

    • Dear Lori, I am so sorry to be late in answering your comment. Thank you for your kind words. You are so right about all that I have been dealing with and it is not over. The saga continues and keeps me in a perpetual depression. I am taking pretty good care and trying to remain as stress free as possible.

  20. shoreacres says:

    This is such a timely post, Yvonne. There’s a garden “guru” on Houston radio who’s been advertising his show with a spot where he tells people to stop passing on the myth about poinsettias being dangerous. He does acknowledge that the sap might be irritating, but otherwise tells people to stop being stupid. I was so irritated by his tone — as well as the message — that I sent him an email. A little extra caution never hurts, as we well know.

    I’m sorry to hear about your losses. It’s never easy, but two in one week must be especially hard. Still, I know they had good lives, and that you did what you could for them.

    Take care of yourself, too! and enjoy the coming days.

    • Poinsettias as a rule do not cause harm. Sensitive pets will suffer side effects so I should have written that as ” a rule thing.’ It is the same with some people who have extreme reactions to sea food or gluten or nuts, and so on. But it does happen. Just as my dog that became very ill from romping in the compost pile. Chewing on a poinsettia might have more to do with the plant being sprayed with a pesticide and that is what makes them ill. Thank you for commenting.

      • shoreacres says:

        That’s something I hadn’t thought about — the pesticides — but of course that’s always a concern with commercially grown plants.

        • Absoluely and you are right about that. I am vey careful to buy plants from an organic nursery in the spring, especially if the plants are attractive to Monarchs. If the caterpillars are hosting on a milkweed that has been sprayed they will die very quickly. Of course I have not had to worry about that because I never see a monarch in the spring anyway. I have had a few that hosted on Mexican milkweed in the fall and they matured into butterflies that flew away. That was several, years ago. This fall I saw a total of two monarchs.

        • shoreacres says:

          That’s amazing, really. This is the first year I’ve seen large groups of monarchs. They just kept coming and coming, although their numbers peaked during one particular week. There were some photos taken in Palacios by Texas Parks & Wildlife people that looked at though they could have been taken at the roosts down in Mexico.

        • Linda, you are blessed to have droves of monarchs that pass through your area. I wish I could say the same. I had another cat die in the feral cat run last night. I knew he had slowed down but had no idea he was on his last lap. I wrapped him up and placed him in heavy duty body bag and took him to my vet to be picked up the guy that does all my communal cremations. I will miss little Bobby who was manx with a stub tail. He was somewhere between 14-16 years old. It is very odd but I usually lose three pets in a row but never before this close together.

  21. Lottie Nevin says:

    Sounds like you could do with a huge, fat hug, I wish that I lived closer to you so I could give you one. I know how crap you must be feeling. It’s horrible having to say goodbye to our animal friends.

    Thanks for this post, Yvonne. I have to be so careful with Colin, he will eat anything and everything. Guess that’s from the days when he was abandoned and living on the streets. Xoxo

    • Hi Lottie and it is so nice to hear from you. I had great plans for baking this year but the wind has been taken out of my sails. Saying I need a hug from you has brightened my day. I would give anything to be near you- really I do. You are like my daughter. I hope all is well with you and Pete and all the pets. I think you are right about Colin Snout. He had to scrounge on the streets for who knows how long. He sure met his lucky stars when he became your dog. Now he lives such a good life and I know you enjoy him and Wilma a great deal. Your home would not be complete without you dogs and cats. I saw two sister dogs at my vet when I took my cat in Saturday to be euthanized. I smiled a little because they reminded me of you. They were half dachshund and schnauzer- one black and the other brown. Absolutely beautiful dogs. They had been adopted from a rescue origination. I thought of the two dachshunds that you had to give up before you and Pete moved to Jakarta.

      • Lottie Nevin says:

        Yes, it was heartbreaking parting with those two, they were such characters! But, we’ve given these abandonados a home and we love them. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, I had a million things I wanted to do this year and still haven’t got round to! Big big hugs and always remember how loved you are xoxo

        • Lottie I am so sorry but I have been lazy and remiss in replying to comments and today, 1/5/18, I finally made my self go to my blog. I had not realized that I had left you dangling. About giving up your dachshunds before moving to Jakarta. You can rest well assured that you selected the very best possible home for them. And now you have rescued Colin Snout and Wilma and I think those two dogs complete and compliment your home. You could not ask for anything better.

          Hugs, Yvonne xoxo

  22. Thank you for that timely warning re pets and toxicity. One of our most endearing border colie was running around the farm and had a fox-bait that the farmer next door had buried to try and get rid of foxes that would kill his lambs. She just managed to run home but died in agony within minutes.

  23. Great post! Another holiday hazard that I’ve seen plenty of (and I bet it’s in your post, and I bet I didn’t catch it) is those pretty poinsettias. Babies love them, and of course pets love to investigate anything new….They can cause burning and swelling of the mouth and throat, usually not life-threatening but occasionally can lead to respiratory distress. Kids and pets usually can’t manage to ingest enough to cause systemic toxicity, and if a piece of the plant does get into their stomach they generally vomit it. But it’s enough to cause a panicked trip to the ER or the emergency vet!

    Safe holidays to all!

    • Thanks Dr. Laura but I did not include poinsettias.. But I will go back and add that right now. I appreciate your timely information.

      • 👍 Good good! You take care of yourself this holiday season, OK?

        • Thanks again. I am trying to take very good care. I was in a recliner most of the day. Only got up for essentials and to take care of and medicate inside cats. Gave Carley her chemo med, Melphlan and some hemp oil and Fancy Feast x2. Won’t know for about two weeks if the med is shrinking the cancer. Thank you for caring. Hope in the coming days that you stay well.

    • Oh Gerard, that must have devastated you and Helvie. I can only imagine that poor dog dying such a dreadful death. I am vehemently opposed to ranchers and farmers using poison bait or traps to kill wildlife. It is too cruel for wildlife and deadly for domestic pets. Thank you for commenting. Happy Christmas to you and yours. And Milo too.

  24. da-AL says:

    Love this – since I don’t see a ‘reblog’ button here, would love if you’d guest blog post for my site. If you’re interested, type ‘call for writers’ into search bar on my site or email me at

    • I have reposted for you tonight (12/18/2017). I hope you catch this in this busy season. I hope that both your labs are doing much better now. So glad you got the older dog on hemp and glucosamine.

      Regards, Yvonne

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