I asked veterinary specialists Ahna Brutlag DVM and Justine A. Lee DVM DACVECC to list the top 5 pet safety and poisoning questions they have received during the holidays at Pet Poison Helpline. Here is their list of calls received so far during the 2009 holiday season.
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While there are other holidays that are possibly more "chocolate-centric" such as Valentine's Day and Easter, chocolate is a common Christmas and Chanukah gift, too. Gifts under the tree or left out on the table are easy prey for curious pets, especially dogs.
Pets can sniff out goodies hidden behind festive wrapping paper quickly. Tearing packages open to consume the contents isn't a problem, either. Learn what makes chocolate toxic to pets, how much (and what kind of chocolate) is toxic, the signs seen, and how this is treated.
The Pet Poison Helpline is a team of veterinarians and veterinary specialists who are "on call" for pet owners and veterinarians to consult with about poisonings or potential poisonings in pets. They are available 24/7 and cover a wide range of species.
Thanks to Ahna Brutlag DVM and Justine A. Lee DVM DACVECC for assistance with this article.