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2022 Winner of Alameda Magazine's Best Veterinary Clinic Award.

It’s the Holiday Season!

As the holidays approach, veterinary hospitals see spikes in cases. Animals tend to get ill at this time of year for many reasons, as described below. Veterinary hospitals are short-staffed and wait times are longer than ever. Be sure to take extra steps and precautions to avoid the following visits:

1. Dietary issues

There are more treats and rich foods available during the holiday season. Dogs and cats will hover around food-prep areas to lick any residue in sinks and to steal any items left unattended. Symptoms can vary from vomiting and diarrhea to severe abdominal pain if pancreatitis develops. Keep the animals away from the human food!

Photo of a dog peeking at a turkey being carved.

Countertops are never safe places. Clean up the dishes quickly or lock the animals out of the kitchen during prep time. Avoid table scraps! We are all too familiar with the cute faces and sad eyes. Rich holiday foods will not be well-received. Tell visitors and guests not to feed your animals as well.

2. Toxicities

Beware of Christmas plants and seasonal treats that are not safe for animals, such as chocolate and products that contain xylitol. And if you are medicating yourself for anxiety and stress, be sure to lock up your medications and put your edibles away in a super-secure location.

Keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center phone number close at hand: (888) 426-4435.

Veterinarians will often direct pet owners to call this number with concerns of toxin ingestions. There is a fee, but it’s money well spent and if performed promptly, the advice may mean treatment is not necessary. Be sure to record the case number for your veterinarian if the advice is to seek care.

3. Foreign body ingestions

Animals are inquisitive by nature, so when the decorations and ornaments emerge from their boxes, our pets will be sniffing around these items and may ingest them. Monitor them closely. If your cat or dog seems especially interested in certain decorations, remove them. No one wants a trip to the emergency room for surgery!

Photo of a cat reaching for an ornament under a Christmas tree.

4. Injuries

Secure your Christmas tree and ensure that electrical cords are not accessible to your animals. Both dogs and cats will nibble on the electrical cords of holiday lights. Cats can take down a Christmas tree as they attempt to scale up the sides. With guests coming and leaving your home, doors may be left open and animals may slide outside into traffic. Secure your animals before greeting visitors.

5. Stress

We all feel it! Cats and dogs feel it as well. Cats often flare up with upper respiratory infections and urinary issues due to stress at this time of year. Keep schedules consistent, and always give your animals room to sneak away to their private comfortable spot when visitors come over. If children are visiting, don’t force your animals to engage with them. Most animals would prefer to avoid children.

In conclusion, know when your veterinary hospitals are open and what emergency vet hospitals are in the area. If you need to go to the emergency hospital, be prepared for long wait times. Bring a book and a charger for your phone. Be KIND to the emergency staff. These hard-working individuals are working shifts that prevent them from being with their families during the holidays. They have an enormous workload and are there to advocate for your animals. Just like in every organization, kindness extended will mean kindness received.

Have a very happy and very safe holiday season!

Cara’s Travel Tips

A PDF of Cara Yanussi’s experienced advice for taking a road trip with your pet(s) is available here.

Illustration of a dog in a crate and 2 cats in a crate.


Alameda Pet Hospital is now hosting in-person examinations for pets of vaccinated clients on a limited basis. We are also continuing our curbside care. We still require all clients to call or text us upon arrival, even for those who plan to enter our building for their animal’s examination. Masks are required.

When you arrive, please call us at 510-523-1626 and select option 2.


Text the phrase “I’M HERE” to 510-523-1626. Be sure to include your first name, last name, and your pet’s name.

Exams & Non-Urgent Questions

We are utilizing several alternatives to phone calls due to our extremely high call volume. Please reach out to us via email at or text us at 510-523-1626 for refill requests, non-urgent questions, or appointment requests.  Please include your full name and your animal’s name when texting us. We will get back to you within 1-2 business days.

We require 24 hours notice minimum when canceling an appointment. There may be a fee for a violation of this policy. Please communicate with our staff if you are unable to keep your appointment.

Due to increased demand for services, we require a deposit for new clients. This fee will be applied to the first veterinary visit. If the appointment is canceled more than 24 hours in advance, the funds will be refunded to the card used. If the appointment is rescheduled, the deposit will roll over to the new appointment.

Prescription Refills

If your pet needs a prescription refilled, you might want to try our online pharmacy so that your order can be delivered directly to your home. Medication refill requests may also be submitted via email or text (510-523-1626). Requests received before 12 pm for medications with refills previously authorized will be available for pick-up after 4 pm the same day, otherwise the next day. Medications without previously approved refills must be approved by one of our veterinarians. Please allow an additional business day for approval.

Coronavirus Information

For the very latest information on COVID-19, you can check these sites:

CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
WHO – World Health Organization
WSAVA – World Small Animal Veterinary Association

Photo of black and white cat

If you need veterinary care for birds, reptiles, or small mammals, click here for Dr. Granzow’s list of local exotic vets.

Our New Office Hours

We will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 24.

8:00 am–6:00 pm

Our reception area will be closed daily from 12:30–2:00 pm for training and lunch breaks.

We are happy to announce that we are again accepting new clients!

Contact Us

(510) 523-1626

Alameda Pet Hospital
2275 Buena Vista Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
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