4 tips to avoid the emergency vet clinic during the holidays

Keep your pet safe, sound and out of the emergency vet clinic this holiday season with these helpful tips.

No pet parent wants to worry about their pet needing emergency care, and no emergency vet wants a pet to need emergency care during the holidays! Below are four tips to keep your pet out of the emergency vet clinic this season:

1. Watch your cooking ingredients

When you cook during the holidays, you may end up with many different types of ingredients than those you usually have on hand. You may also cook food that comes in different containers or uses different equipment.

Keep all ingredients safely away from pets while you cook. Store turkey bones, greasy dishes and foil, cooking twine, and any garbage bags full of these ingredients where pets cannot reach them. Cooking a holiday meal may be a good time to keep your pets in another room for a little while, if possible – especially if they’re counter surfers!

2. Be extra cautious with plant décor

Poinsettias may cause irritation to the stomach resulting in drooling, vomiting or nausea if a pet eats them. Holly and mistletoe are also known to cause stomach and digestive problems.

You can always decorate your home with plants that are safe for pet exposure but be aware that they may still end up chewed on anyway! If you prefer to play it safe, stick with faux plants – and keep a close eye on your pet to ensure they don’t eat those!

3. Anchor your tree

Dogs and cats alike tend to become enamored with the Christmas tree. If you think your pet is going to want to get a little too up close and personal with your tree, then you should consider anchoring it to avoid a dangerous situation.

Anchoring your tree can keep your pet from tipping it over and potentially hurting himself (or breaking your decorations). It can also prevent your pet from reaching the water in the basin, which may cause stomach upset if he ingests too much.

4. Take care with tinsel, wires and ornaments

Tinsel is easy for cats to chew on, and since it resembles many cat toys, they often try to do this. If your cat swallows a piece of tinsel, it could cause a digestive blockage that will require emergency surgery.

Chewing on electrical wires can potentially cause pets to become fatally shocked. Broken ornament pieces, if ingested, can damage the mouth, throat, and intestines of your pet.

Should you need advice or emergency vet care, all of the convenient VEG locations are open 24 hours on holidays.


Dr. Lisette Lewis is the Chief Medical Officer at the Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG).
Her primary duties include overseeing the Medical Directors at 17 VEG locations. Dr. Lewis
earned her DVM in 2013 from the University of Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Veterinary
College. Dr. Lewis’ favorite pastimes include spending time with her family and horseback
riding. She currently resides in the New York Metropolitan area.