Open mobile navigation

Holiday Safety Tips

River Mill Animal Hospital located in Tampa, Florida has tips to keep your family pets safe this holiday season:

Keep holiday foods out of pet's reach - Leaving milk and cookies out for Santa? Unfortunately pets can sniff out and eat his treats before he arrives. Keep treats covered in a high place, so even the cat can't grab a snack.

Christmas Trees - It's near impossible to keep pets away from the Christmas tree at all times. Securely anchor trees disabling them from tipping of falling. Inspect the artificial tree, especially as it becomes brittle with age. Small pieces of plastic or aluminum can break, causing an intestinal blockage or mouth irritation if ingested. Tree water can be poisonous. Preservations, such as aspirin, are commonly added to keep trees fresh. Use a covered tree water dish to be safe.

Decorations - Avoid stringing the bottom of the tree; some lights become hot and can burn your pets. Using ribbon or string instead of traditional wire hooks avoid a scratch if hit with a tail. Cords should be taped firmly to the wall or floor. Check cords daily for chew marks or punctures. Gnawing on electrical cords can not only cause shock, but pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs). Do not use tinsel, shiny swinging objects are enticing to cats. If swallowed, it can block the intestines. Resulting in decrease appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and in some cases even death. Most often surgery is necessary to remove blockages.

Candles and Fragrance - Candles can be fragrant and mesmerizing to pets, but they are a fire hazard if knocked over. Use flameless candles as a safe alternative. Exposure to liquid potpourri and sachets can be dangerous, causing skin, oral damage, and death.

Toxic Plants - Plants: Mistletoe and Holly; if ingested can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, severe drop in blood pressure and cardiac complications. A variety of lilies are poisonous to both dogs and cats, causing vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, convulsions, and arrhythmias. These plants are best left out of reach completely. If your pet ingests a toxin seek veterinary care without delay. These cases require immediate action.

If you have any questions regarding safety during the holidays do not hesitate to call our office. We encourage our two and four legged family members to safely enjoy this holiday seasons! From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!

New Patients Receive a Complimentary Exam.

Office Hours


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-12:00 pm





  • "Dr Hodge takes the time to really know your pet and seeks out the most current information regarding their diagnosis. The staff is fantastic and treat my babies like their own."
    Danielle S.

Featured Articles

Newsletter Sign Up