Keoki's Corner

Holiday Hazards and Your Pets

kirbyWe hope that the upcoming holidays fill you with cheer.  While you are making plans to celebrate during the winter holidays, keep in mind that while your pets may like to celebrate too, there are some things you shouldn’t share with them.  A little precaution and prevention will make the holidays a much happier time for all.  Here are some common holiday hazards to keep in mind:

Bones:  Roasting a turkey, chicken, or even a rib roast will leave you with lots of tasty bones; however, these cooked bones become brittle and can shatter and lodge in the throat, stomach, or intestinal tract.

 

Fat:  Gravy, poultry skin, and butter can cause severe gastrointestinal upset including diarrhea and vomiting.  Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) due to high fat foods, is the most common gastrointestinal emergency around the holidays.

Sweets:  Chocolate is one of the most common causes of toxic reaction in pets.  The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is.  Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, used in sugar-free gum/candy, baked goods, and other products is highly poisonous to dogs and can cause low blood sugar and liver damage resulting in vomiting, seizures, and collapse.  Did you also know that raisins, grapes, and macadamia nuts are also toxic to your pet?

tonyHoliday Plants:  Plants like Holly and Mistletoe are extremely poisonous if eaten.  Poinsettias are not poisonous but the leaves and sap will cause severe stomach upset.  The safest solution is to keep the plants out of your pets’ reach.

Christmas Trees: Watch out for the tree-climbing cat or long-tailed dog when you decide to decorate your tree.  Keep the tree anchored and hang breakable glass ornaments up high to avoid them being knocked off.  Pine needles are dangerous to your pet.  The needles can be sharp and puncture your pet’s intestines. Tinsel, ribbon, and garland, when ingested can potentially cause an intestinal blockage.

Candles and Electrical Items:  Candles need to be kept out of reach and never left unattended.  A whipping or wagging tail or swatting paw could result in injury.  Extension cords are an inviting chew toy for puppies and kittens.  Be sure to keep them secure and out of the way.

Visitors:  With all your family and friends coming and going, watch out for open doors and sneaky pets.  Be sure your pet has a collar with identification in case of an escape.  Permanent identification such as a microchip is also a good idea.  Remind your guests to keep an eye on your pet and make sure, when they leave the house, the door is closed behind them.

We hope that these reminders will keep all of your pets safer during the holidays this and every year.  Everyone at OSSVH wishes you a happy holiday season.

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posted in:  Cat Care  |  Dog Care  |  Illness & Disease