Let’s keep our pets safe this Holiday Season. Tips on how to do that.

Christmas Trees: Cats love Christmas trees as they sometimes attempt to climb them or use the tree trunk as a scratching post. This can cause the tree to fall down resulting in injury to any pet. Evergreen needles can be harmful to your pet as they can get caught in the intestines if ingested. The tree water can also pose a potential threat as it may contain harmful bacteria.

Christmas Tree Ornaments: Ornaments are designed to be attractive to the eye. This is no exception for your pet as they will most likely be attracted to them as well. It’s important to keep your ornaments high up on the tree if you feel your pet might be drawn to them. Otherwise you could have a choking hazard on your hand. Most ornaments come with hooks that can easily be swallowed, not to mention if they have a sentimental value to you, you will want to keep both the ornaments and your pets safe. Plants and Flowers: Although we love to decorate with plants and flowers during the holidays, many of them are toxic to pets. Even the non-toxic plants can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested. While poinsettias are often thought to be toxic to cats and dogs, if ingested it will most likely cause irritation of the mouth and stomach which may result in vomiting.

The most common holiday plants that can be harmful include:
– Mistletoe
– Amaryllis
– Azaleas
– Juniper
– Lily
– Holly
– Ivy
– Evergreens
– Chrysanthemums

Tinsel and Ribbon: Cats in particular love to chew on tinsel and ribbon. The problem with this is if it is ingested, it can cause an intestinal blockage which will result in emergency surgery. If you suspect that your pet may have ingested something it shouldn’t have, please call your veterinarian for advice.

Toys and Batteries: Pets love to chew on just about anything. When hard toys are chewed on, you risk them breaking their teeth. You also want to be aware of batteries as they contain Zinc. If ingested this can cause renal damage and pancreatitis in your pet.

Lights, Wires and Candles: What is the holiday season without some holiday flare? Unfortunately, leaving wires unattended poses a risk of electrical shock or oral burns. Candles if knocked down cause an unnecessary fire. Be sure to never leave them unattended.

Holiday Guests/ Open Doors: Family will most likely be coming and going which means the front door will be opening often. Make sure to keep your pets secure so they don’t have the opportunity to run away. It is best to get your pet microchipped so that should you lose your fur baby, you are more likely to find them. In addition to that, if your pet tends to get anxiety easily, all the commotion of family gathering, not to mention possible fireworks celebrating the new year, may increase that anxiety. It is best to be prepared for this prior to it happening by contacting your veterinarian for advice.

Alcohol: If alcohol is present during your holiday season be sure to keep it away from your pets. Alcohol can be poisonous to pets and can lead to a coma or even death. The smallest amount of alcohol can kill a small cat or dog.

Uncooked Bread Dough: Raw dough, particularly if it contains salt can be appealing to your pets. When yeast is ingested, the dough can rise inside the digestive tract causing a blockage or possible rupture of the internal organs. This can potentially result in causing a seizure or respiratory failure.

Feeding Leftovers and Sweets: It is best to keep the leftovers to yourself. Fatty and spicy foods can cause upset stomachs with possible diarrhea and vomiting or even pancreatitis. Bones should never be offered to your pet as they are a choking hazard and can possibly cause an obstruction in their intestinal tract. Chocolate or anything containing xylitol are also extremely toxic to your pet. Should your pet consume any of the following, you will need to take them to the nearest emergency clinic right away. Please also be aware of what other foods that are toxic to your pet such as:

-Apple seeds
-Cherry pits
-Apricot & peach pits
-Avocados
-Garlic
-Chives
-Candy containing xylitol
-Grapes
-Gum containing xylitol
-Coffee grounds
-Macadamia nuts
-Mushroom seeds
-Onions
-Moldy foods
-Mustard seeds
-Raisins
-Salt
-Walnuts
-Rhubarb leaves
-Yeast dough

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