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Holiday Pet Safety
The holidays are right around the corner and we know there will be plenty of opportunities for your pets to get into mischief. Check out these tips to keep your furry friends merry this holiday season!
- Holiday Ornaments: Make sure holiday ornaments are out of the reach of your pets. Holiday decorations such as snow globes or bubble lights may contain poisonous chemicals. Methylene chloride, the chemical in bubble lights, can result in depression, aspiration pneumonia and irritation to the eyes, skin and gastrointestinal tract. For those of you with cats, try to avoid tinsel as much as possible. What looks like a shiny toy to your cat can cause severe damage to a cat's intestinal tract if swallowed.
- Plants: Many decorative holiday plants can also be deadly to your pets. Poinsettia plants are well-known for their mild toxicity. Far worse and lesser known are holiday plants such as lilies, holly, and mistletoe. Lilies, (including tiger, Asiatic, stargazer, Easter and day lilies), are the most dangerous plants for cats. The ingestion of one to two leaves or flower petals is enough to cause sudden kidney failure. Other festive plants such as holly berries and mistletoe can also be toxic to pets and can cause gastrointestinal upset and even heart arrhythmias if ingested.
- Cooked bones and trimmings: It may be tempting to let your dog chew on the bones after you cook, but cooked bones are extremely dry and brittle. In addition to potentially causing intestinal blockages, the bones can also splinter in the dog's throat or digestive system and cause severe damage, internal bleeding, or death. Animals are susceptible to pancreatitis from high-fat content foods. Pancreatitis is not always curable, and symptoms include vomiting, depression, abdominal pain, and reluctance to move. If you suspect pancreatitis, make sure your pet goes in to see the veterinarian.
- Bread dough: Freshly baked bread contains yeast, which can actually rise in your pet's stomach and cause discomfort or even more serious conditions. Keep all dough out of reach of pets to avoid a holiday trip to the vet.
- Wrappings: Foils, waxed papers, turkey bags, strings, garbage bags, toothpicks, and more can be tempting for animals and can pose a serious health threat if ingested.
- Other Holiday Foods: Foods containing grapes, raisins, and currents (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 that is toxic to dogs that can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure. Keep dishes loaded with onions away from your dog. Onions contain thiosulphate, which damages red blood cells and can cause anemia in dogs.
- Small children: The holidays are a time for family to come together, and if your relatives bring small children around a pet that is not used to living with little ones, do not leave them unattended. Not all dogs or cats are patient enough to tolerate children. Keep everyone safe and happy this holiday by supervising children at all times.
- Identification: Lastly, with family coming and going, animals have a higher opportunity of escaping. Make sure you have valid ID tags on their collars or write your phone number directly on their collars with permanent marker.
Stay safe everyone and have a great holiday week!
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