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Holiday Season – The Season to Enjoy and Care

By December 18, 2017 January 2nd, 2019 Uncategorized

It is the time of year when we are getting ready for the holidays. It is a time that evokes a lot of memories and feelings. What do you associate with the season?



Spending time with your loved ones?

Spending time with your pets?

Good food?

Decorations and music?

Since you are reading a veterinary clinic’s blog, I venture that  “spending time with your pets” was one of your choices. You’re not alone. For many people, including more than one veterinarian, pets and the holiday season go hand in hand.

According to the 2017-2018 APPA National Pet Owners Survey Debut, 68% of U.S. households (or 84.6 million homes) have at least one animal. In Canada, the numbers stand at 8.8 million pet cats and 7.6 million pet dogs (as of 2016, noted by the Canadian Animal Health Institute).

And pets are definitely part of the family and give us a feeling of love and belonging. That’s what the holiday season is about.  And  love includes your pets in the  seasonal fun. Did you know that 73% of surveyed American pet owners have a Christmas stocking for their furry friend? That’s according to an article released by the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA. Roughly 51% of families do share holiday meals with their pets, and 70% actually wrap gifts for them. You are not alone. Pets are part of the family.

Enjoy your turkey, but please watch your pets. Bones are dangerous. We see often pets with gastrointestinal problems after the feast.

We wish you great enjoyment, peace, love and togetherness this season. It is a privilege to be your family veterinarian and we are greatful.

In order to keep this holiday season peaceful, please practice good caution with your pets. You will want to avoid a trip to a Markham veterinary clinic:

  • Chocolate: We addressed this in The 12 Hazards of the Holidays, but it’s worth exploring here. Should Fido or Fluffy get into the sweets at your holiday party, they might have a seizure, get diarrhea, or start vomiting. Chocolate contains theobromine, an ingredient that humans can digest but is toxic to animals. The severity of your pet’s reaction basically comes down to the kind of chocolate they ate and how much they managed to nab before you caught them.
  • Tinsel: It might look good on the tree in your living room, but it makes animals very sick. Why? If your pet eats any of the tinsel, it could lead to blockage in the stomach or intestines. Nasty infections are also possible. In some cases, tinsel ingestion is deadly. Our veterinarian recommends skipping the tinsel and sticking with ornaments. If you absolutely have to use it, keep it up high and away from any curious paws. Be very careful about how much you put on the tree and vacuum up anything that falls to the ground. Not sure about something? Talk to a vet.
  • Tree Climbing: It’s not just annoying for you – it can be painful for any adventurous felines. The sharp needles on your tree can injure their eyes, the tree may tip etc.
  • Seasonal Plants: The veterinary community agrees you shouldn’t place poinsettias, mistletoe, or holly in your home. All are poisonous.
  • Burning Candles: Stray flames could easily singe a nearby tail. Your pet might knock a candle over and start a fire.
  • Leftovers: Never, ever give your pet gravy, onions, grapes, bones (especially turkey and chicken bones) or meat fat, among other things. Our vet would be happy to give you a detailed list of foods to avoid.

We are open during the holiday season during regular hours every day with the exception of

December 25 closed

December 26 closed

January 1 closed

If you found this blog informative, please share it with your friends on Facebook . Please call us (905)477-2323 for any questions or search for more articles on our website:


Dr. Ernst Marsig, veterinarian in Markham

Fear Free Certified Practitioner

Practicing Veterinary Medicine in Markham for a Long and Happy Life of ALL Your Pets.

Animal Hospital of Unionville, a veterinary clinic on the north side of  Hwy 7, serving all pets in Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, and North York since 1966. We are your family vets for dogs, cats, pocket pets (rabbits, chinchillas, gerbils, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, skinny pigs, etc.), ferrets, and birds (budgies, cockatiel, parrots, amazon, cockatoo, love birds, conures, African greys, finches, canaries, etc.). We pride ourselves to provide cost effective veterinary medicine and give you options for treatments. Some may think our services as cheap, but our goal is to give good value.

Disclaimer: No part of this website constitutes medical advice. Readers are advised to consult with their veterinarian.

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