KEEP PETS SAFE & WELL OVER THE HOLIDAYS!
As you celebrate this holiday season, remember to keep the health and safety of your furry companions in mind; an emergency trip to the vet is not on your pet’s Christmas list.
Article reprint with our comments added, including – If you are entertaining, have guests coming in and out of the house, are bringing in a Christmas tree, presents or otherwise going in and out, PLEASE put your pet in another room. Often stressful for them, and all around safer. Have heard of pets (particularly cats) who live inside, getting out and not know how to get back, for one example). Why take chances . . . make them cozy and happy confined in another room or area of the house.
The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, and what better way to prepare for the holidays than including your furry friends in the festivities? However, with all of the hustle and bustle of this busy season, we often forget to adapt our celebrations for the safety of our pets. Here are some ways to keep Fido and Fluffy safe while rockin’ around the Christmas tree.
When it comes to decorating your home, there are a few items to leave behind if you have a curious dog or cat lurking around. Animals are often attracted to the sparkly tinsel and ribbons left lying out, and these can easily obstruct their digestive tract if ingested, often requiring emergency surgery (and even death). Make sure to keep these decorations out of reach or out of sight. “Mistletoe especially can cause vomiting and diarrhea as well as neurologic signs such as seizures,” said Dr. Stacy Eckman, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “Other holiday plants, such as poinsettias, can also cause vomiting and diarrhea when eaten.”
Holiday candles are another decoration that can make your home feel that much more festive, but be sure to put them high enough up where a pet cannot accidentally knock them over. To play it safe, place candles on a stable surface and blow them out before leaving the room.
You’ve heard time and time again to not feed Fido any leftovers, but this can be especially difficult to abide by during the season of sharing and caring. Even when he gives you those puppy dog eyes, remember that certain human foods, especially chocolate and other sweets, can be detrimental to his health. If possible, keep pets in another room during mealtime, and make sure that there are lids on the trashcans to prevent any sneaky pets from getting ahold of the discarded pie. “Many pets who are fed leftovers and are not used to them can develop vomiting and diarrhea due to the abrupt change in diet,” said Dr. Eckman. “Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can be very dangerous with signs including vomiting and diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors, heart arrhythmias and possibly death depending on how much is eaten.”
If you have a live Christmas tree in your home, make sure not to add fertilizer to the tree water, as it can upset your dog’s or cat’s stomach when drank. Whether your tree is fake or real, it should be securely anchored to the ground (or even the wall if possible) to prevent it from tipping over and falling on a pet, which can cause serious injury. “Cats in particular like to climb the Christmas tree or chew on the branches,” said Dr. Eckman. Additionally, any glass ornaments should be placed higher up on the tree, leaving the low-lying branches for the less fragile ornaments.
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Keep the Emergency Vet and Pet Poison Control Numbers Handy
The holiday season is a common time for illness and injuries in pets. Always keep the number and address of the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic handy, along with the number to the ASPCA's Pet Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) - just in case.
Visit the Pet Poisoning Resources Page for more information on what foods, plants and other items are toxic to dogs and cats.