SOURCE: Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson

Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson

December 02, 2010 16:19 ET

Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson (VSCT) Offers Tips to Keep Pets Safe During the Holiday Season

Holiday Visitors, Turkey Bones, Chocolate, and Gift Wrappings Can Be Hazardous to Pets

TUCSON, AZ--(Marketwire - December 2, 2010) - The award-winning Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson (VSCT) is stepping forward to offer helpful suggestions to pet owners on keeping their fluffy friends safe at the holidays. A favorite time of year for families, the holiday season can be a dangerous time for our pets.

"Holiday visitors, turkey bones, table scraps, candy, decorations and gift wrappings are just some of the dangers that dogs, cats and other pets face this time of year, so pet owners must be proactive to ensure their pet's safety," stated Barbara Gores, DVM, DACVS, Founding Owner, VSCT (

Winner of two esteemed Copper Cactus Awards amongst other honors, VSCT thrives to give back to the community, and feels that educating people on how to protect their pets at the holiday season is a great way to do so.

Dr Gores states pets should be secured in a quiet part of the house during parties to prevent escape through doors that are frequently being opened.

Other suggestions from VSCT include:

  • Keeping pets away from open candle flames to prevent burns,
  • Securing electrical cords, holiday lights, dangling decorations, and tinsel to prevent electrocution or intestinal obstruction from chewing or eating these "tempting items,"
  • Supervising pets during the unwrapping of gifts. Although ribbons and string are inviting toys to dogs and cats, they can cut through your pet's intestinal tract in 24 hours or less if ingested.
  • Keeping all candy, especially chocolate, away from pets as it can be toxic and even fatal if ingested.
  • Keep leftovers away from pets. Poultry bones are notorious for splintering and causing severe intestinal distress, blockage and injury.
  • Rich fatty foods such as gravies can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even pancreatitis.

"While chocolate is certainly delicious and may even be beneficial for people, it can be deadly to pets. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which affects the heart and nervous system," states James Boulay, DVM, DACVS, Founding Owner, VSCT.

Other food tips include:

  • "Healthy" foods like granola, trail mix, and even sugar-free treats can harm Fido and Fluffy,
  • Raisins and grapes contain an unknown toxin that can damage your pet's kidneys causing renal failure and death,
  • Macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can attack the nervous system, muscles and intestinal tract,
  • Diet treats such as sugar-free gum and candies that contain xylitol can be fatal if ingested by cats and dogs.
  • Candy should be kept out of your pet's reach and young children should be told not to drop or share these goodies with their four-legged friends.

Considered amongst the nation's leading specialty veterinary centers, VSCT delivers compassionate, comprehensive veterinary emergency and specialty care in the fields of Emergency and Critical Care, Dentistry, Dermatology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Ophthalmology, Radiology and Behavior, and collaborates with the Valley Fever Center for Excellence.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jan Woods
    Hospital Administrator
    (520) 795-9955