Pet Safety during the Holidays

The Holiday season has arrived! And with it brings holiday cheer, delicious food, parties, and of course presents! Unfortunately, these amazing human-loved events can sometimes lead to unsafe environments and situations for our furry friends. However, with the appropriate safety precautions you will have no need to worry about your turkey and tinsel being eaten, or much worse. Emergency Vet Clinics see an increase in frequency and number of pets during the holidays due to a number of factors, including: toxicity, foreign bodies, electrocution, and death. Don’t let your pet be a patient this holiday season!

Food/Plant Toxicity: During the holidays, we often make large meals rich in flavor and fat, although delicious; these foods can trigger serious intestinal upset in our pets. Or worse, it can cause serious inflammation of the pancreas or intestine and lead to a life-threatening illness. You should avoid feeding your dog with any kind of processed food, the fat portion of meat, any cheese or dairy, and poultry skin. We must also be very careful when making and serving dessert, especially those made with chocolate. Chocolate, especially dark, is highly toxic and can be lethal to our pets. Holiday plants such as mistletoe or the bulbs of the amaryllis plants may look intriguing to your pet, but they are toxic. Poinsettias, while if ingested in very large quantities can cause intestinal upset, but are generally safe to have in the home. If your pet ingests any food or substance that you are unsure of, please do not hesitate to: call your regular Vet Clinic immediately for advice, call poison control at 1-800-213-6680, or take your pet straight to the nearest Emergency Clinic.

Foreign-bodies: The Christmas tree looks magical, but did you think about the dangerous decorations it has tempting your furry family members? Tinsel, wrapping paper, ribbon, and bows can be an appealing target for play, but if ingested, can twist up the stomach and intestines. Ornaments, especially those made of hard plastic or glass, if ingested can cause damage to the mouth, stomach, and intestines. It is easy to forget about the water in the base of live trees, live tree secretions contain toxins that can cause intestinal upset. The best way to keep your pets out of tree trouble is by making the tree off-limits unless someone is around to supervise. Putting the tree in a room with a door you can close is probably the easiest solution. If your pet does happen to ingest a foreign body you must call your Vet to schedule an exam immediately, your pet will most likely require an emergency surgery to remove the foreign object, this can be costly. Prevention is the number one method of saving your pet and your wallet.

Electrocution: The flickering lights on Christmas trees are mesmerizing to our pets. Between the light itself and the fun, string-like cord, pets love to paw at and bite light cords. It only takes one wrong bite to electrocute your pet, leading to serious injury, tissue damage, death, and risk of fire in your home. Make sure to always supervise your pets around lights and ornaments and turn all lights off when unattended.

The Holiday Season is an amazing time of year, but we must not forget that with it comes a long list of things that can lead to injury or death in your pets. Let this season be safe and cheerful by following a few easy tips!