Holiday schedule & pet safety tips

Aimee Herbstreith
Aimee Herbstreith, Practice Manager

Season’s greetings to you and your family!

Our hospital will be closed from December 23rd, 12 p.m., through December 26th

Dr. Kobold will be on call for that period and can be reached at (307) 674-4111. Our address:

Mountain View Veterinary Hospital

2026 S. Sheridan Avenue

Sheridan, WY 82801

We will also be closed from December 30th, 12 p.m., through January 2nd. During those days, urgent care will be provided by Big Goose Veterinary Clinic. Please save this contact information in case of emergency:

Big Goose Veterinary Clinic

(307) 674-4500

241 Centennial Ln., Sheridan, WY 82801

Please take a moment to review the important information below to keep your pets safe and healthy during the holiday season.

Deck the halls with caution

  • Pets love new items and will undoubtedly want to check out the Christmas tree. Ensure your tree is secure and cannot tip over and injure your curious pet. Hide all electrical cords and hang breakable ornaments on higher branches where they are safe from wagging tails and swatting paws. If you have cats, skip the tinsel, since cats love to ingest the sparkling strands, which can cause a gastrointestinal (GI) blockage.
  • Before choosing holiday greenery, check the ASPCA’s poisonous plant list for pet-toxic plants. Mistletoe, holly, and amaryllis, plants commonly found in holiday centerpieces, are all toxic to pets. Lilies are particularly dangerous, as every part of the plant and water in the vase can cause severe kidney failure in cats.

Don’t share the feast with your pet

  • Many holiday staples are dangerous or toxic to pets, including:
    • Chocolate — Dark chocolate, baking chocolate, and cocoa powder contain the highest concentrations of toxins, which can cause hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, hyperthermia, and heart arrhythmias.
    • Fatty foods — High-fat foods, such as turkey skin and fat, ham, gravy, and butter-laden side dishes, can cause pancreatitis, vomiting, and diarrhea.
    • Grapes and raisins — Grapes, raisins, and currants contain a toxin that can cause life-threatening kidney failure in dogs.
    • Xylitol — This popular sweetener is often found in sugar-free gum, candy, desserts, and some peanut butters.
    • Onions, garlic, and chives — All members of the allium family are toxic to pets and can cause GI upset and red blood cell destruction.
    • Raw yeast dough — Raw dough can rise inside a pet’s warm stomach and cause bloat-like symptoms. The fermenting dough can also produce alcohol that is absorbed into a pet’s bloodstream, causing alcohol poisoning.
    • Alcohol — Cocktails left where your pet can steal a drink can cause intoxication and alcohol poisoning.

Communicate house rules to houseguests

  • Let houseguests know that feeding your pet table scraps is off-limits, since many holiday foods are dangerous for pets.
  • Create a safe space where your pet can escape the holiday hubbub, and ask guests to leave your pet alone in their designated area.
  • Let houseguests know whether they can safely let your pet out if your yard is fenced, and who will take care of your pet’s potty breaks. A well-meaning guest may let your pet out, and your pet may wander away and become lost.
  • Ask guests to safeguard all their medications, candy, gum, and other items that are hazardous for pets. Ask overnight guests to place bags and suitcases out of pets’ reach, and to keep their door closed at all times.

Plan ahead for safe travel

  • Before traveling with your pet, visit your veterinarian to ensure they are healthy enough for the trip.
  • Keep in mind that airlines require a health certificate that must be issued by your veterinarian within 10 days of travel. Travel outside the United States usually involves more extensive health documentation, so plan well ahead to ensure you meet all the criteria for your pet to accompany you on your trip.
  • If you plan to take your pet on a car trip, acclimate them to their carrier, crate, or harness, and go on short rides ahead of time to get them used to traveling. If these “practice trips” do not alleviate your pet’s anxiety, ask your veterinarian about prescription calming medications or sedatives.
  • Don’t forget to pack your pet’s medications, prescription food, medical records, and other necessities. Locate the veterinary practice and emergency hospital closest to your destination, so you are prepared in case of an emergency.

Be responsible about giving pets as gifts

  • Before giving a pet as a gift, ensure the intended recipient wants a new furry friend. As much as you may want to surprise your loved one, they may not want the commitment of a living, breathing pet that requires constant care.
  • Research and plan ahead to choose a pet that will make a good companion for your loved one. A cute, energetic puppy that you give to your elderly parent may have to be rehomed down the road.
  • If you receive a new pet as a gift, schedule a veterinary visit immediately, especially if you have other pets. You need to ensure the new pet is healthy and free from infectious diseases and parasites they could pass on to your other pets.

If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, you may call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435. Note that a consultation fee may apply.