Avoiding Holiday Hazards

Your house is likely pet-proofed most of the year, but the upcoming holiday season poses new risks for your pet. Here are some dangers the holiday season may present:

  • That box of chocolates wrapped and trimmed under your tree may satisfy your sweet tooth, but is poisonous for your dog. Make sure all food-related gifts are tucked away safely.
  • Tom Turkey is yummy for you, but his bones and fat are too much for your pet's gastrointestinal system and can cause severe upset. Make sure carcass leftovers are secured away from your pet.
  • Bones are never a good choice for a snack as they may become lodged or splinter in the digestive system. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on an appropriate snack.
  • Tinsel is too tempting for your kitty. Pets, particularly cats, love to chew and play with glittery tinsel. Unfortunately, they can't resist eating it and it can become entangled in the intestinal tract. Often, it must be surgically-removed. Does it really look that pretty on your tree?
  • You may love company during the holidays, but consider whether your pet does too! The presence of many visitors unknown to your pet can cause unnecessary stress for him/her. If you're planning a party, provide your pet with a quiet, secure place for him/her to settle in while you party.
  • If you're thinking of giving a new pet as a holiday gift, think again. The holiday season is probably the worst time to introduce a new pet into your home. Instead, package up a basket with a leash, food, dish, toys and a brush together with an IOU...then plan an outing AFTER the holiday rush when you can introduce your new pet to your peaceful, quiet environment!
  • Electrical cords, decorations and holiday plants all pose potential hazards for your pets. Avoid leaving your furry friend unsupervised around these tempting items. Try to segregate your pet from holiday trimmings when you're not home.
  • You might overeat during the holidays, but don't be tempted to increase the treats for your pet. Obesity is one of the major causes of long-term ill health in pets. Maintain the pet's regular diet and keep plenty of fresh water available at all times.

If your pet becomes ill as a result of coming into contact with any of these holiday hazards, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice on first aid and further treatment.

Have a safe and happy holiday and follow these few simple suggestions to promote your pet's continued well-being.