The holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about a potentially poisoned pet. Below is a list of holiday-related decorations, plants and food items that the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline recommend keeping away from pets.
Holiday Ornaments:
When decorating for the season, consider your pets. Holiday decorations such as snow globes or bubble lights may contain poisonous chemicals. If your pet chews on them the liquid inside could be could be dangerous to their health. Methylene chloride, the chemical in bubble lights, can result in depression, aspiration pneumonia and irritation to the eyes, skin and gastrointestinal tract.
If you own a cat, forgo the tinsel. What looks like a shiny toy to your cat can prove deadly if ingested. Tinsel does not pose a poisoning risk but can cause severe damage to a cat’s intestinal tract if swallowed. Ultimately, cats run the risk of severe injury to, or rupture of their intestines and treatment involves expensive abdominal surgery.

Though they have a bad rap, poinsettia plants are only mildly toxic. Far more worrisome are holiday bouquets containing lilies, holly or mistletoe.“Lilies, including tiger, Asiatic, stargazer, Easter and day lilies, are the most dangerous plants for cats,” said Dr. Ahna Brutlag, assistant director of Pet Poison Helpline. “The ingestion of one to two leaves or flower petals is enough to cause sudden kidney failure in cats.” Other yuletide pants such as holly berries and mistletoe can also be toxic to pets and can cause gastrointestinal upset and even heart arrhythmias if ingested.
Because alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, it affects pets quickly. Ingestion of alcohol can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated animals can experience seizures and respiratory failure. Additionally, foods such as desserts containing alcohol and unbaked dough that contains yeast should be kept away from pets as they may result in alcohol toxicity, vomiting, disorientation and stomach bloat.
Holiday Foods:
With the holiday season comes a delightful variety of baked goods, chocolate confections and other rich, fattening foods. However, it is not wise (and in some cases is quite dangerous) to share these treats with your pets. Keep your pet on his or her regular diet over the holidays and do not let family and friends sneak in treats. Foods that can present problems:
• Foods containing grapes, raisins and currants (such as fruitcakes) can result in kidney failure in dogs.
• Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, a chemical highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion in small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea but large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias.
• Many sugarless gums and candies contain xylitol, a sweetener which is toxic to dogs. It causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure.
• Leftover, fatty meat scraps can produce severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) leading to abdominal pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
Imported Snow Globes:
Recently, imported snow globes were found to contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol.) As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze when ingested by a cat or a tablespoon or two for a dog (depending on their size), can be fatal. Signs of early poisoning include acting drunk or uncoordinated, excessive thirst, and lethargy. While signs may seem to improve after eight to twelve hours, internal damage is actually worsening, and crystals develop in the kidneys resulting in acute kidney failure. Immediate treatment with an antidote is vital.
Liquid Potpourri:

Filling your house with the smell of nutmeg or pine for the holidays may seem inviting—but if you’re partial to heating your scented oils in a simmer pot, know that they can cause serious harm to your cat; even a few licks can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing, and tremors. Dogs aren’t as sensitive, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry—so scent your home with a non-toxic candle kept safely out of kitty’s reach.
When it comes to the holidays, the best thing a pet owner can do is get educated on common household toxins and pet-proof your home accordingly. If you think your pet has been poisoned, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 with any questions or concerns.

FBA is ready for the Holiday Giving Season

As of the time of this writing October 29th, 2018, we are just ending our 3rd year anniversary. The beginning of our 4th year will be a much more productive year for helping local shelters and organizations with Holiday giving fundraising. Friends of Baja Animals would like to recognize the local shelters in the Punta Banda area for the fabulous work they have done during this year.

The following are those we highly recommend you supporting:

Los Adoptables: This year Los Adoptables have remodeled their new shelter to accommodate up to 40 dogs. Tina McClure co-founder and Pris the Manager of the shelter have worked hard to design and build individual pens for each dog, giving them their own safe and secure place to call their own. The dogs look out to the public area and see people coming and going all day long. They have special time to play and romp the yard each day. Additionally,
Los Adoptables has established a grooming and bathing area, an office, kitchen and Second Hand shop area, all to raise funds to pay the bills. You can reach them by going to their website: or emailing Pris
at Let them know we recommended them.

C.A.R.E. This organization is owned and run by Norma Hurtado, who has been the leader in spaying and neutering dogs and cats for many years. Norma and her team of volunteers have helped stop the proliferation of unwanted animals in the Punta Banda. All of the residents of this area have been grateful for the work Norma has done to rid the roads of dead and injured animals. They also go into local schools to educate children on how to care for their animals.
You can reach Norma and C.A.R.E at email: Please let her know FBA recommended her.

Rescue Me Second Hand Shop: Rescue Me was founded by Linda McBride several years ago. They are dedicated to helping local pet charities pay their bills by raising funds collecting and re-selling clothes and household items. They are a staple in the Punta Banda area where all the local residents help by providing items and buying different things. They help Katty Korner, which is a Cat Shelter, Los Adoptables, and other organizations through the hard work of Linda and her team of Volunteers. You can reach Linda at her email: Let her know we recommended Rescue Me.

Katty Korner: This adorable shelter is co-founded by Data Goldsberry and Linda McBride. They rented a small shop where they fixed up a comfortable place for cats to live, while waiting for adoption. Data and her husband Dayle take cats to San Diego on a weekly basis for adoption events. They set up at a local Pet Smart store and have several beautiful cats ready to meet their forever parents. They have saved hundreds of cats in their time. We highly commend Data, Linda and their team of Volunteers for their consistency, reliability, excellent care and effort they have put into their shelter. Data and her team have dedicated their lives to save cats from death and abuse. You can reach Data at her email: Please let them know how much we love them.

All of the above are just some of the trusted and awesome people in the Punta Banda area who rescue, foster and adopt animals at their worse time of need. We thank you all for your kindness, generosity, and love.

From the Board of Directors of Friends of Baja Animals,
Mike Folloni, Bob and Linda Nichols and Diane Webster.
You can reach us at