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  • Writer's pictureDr. Allie

Enjoy the Holidays with your Pets & Avoid the Dangers!





As we begin the festivities of the holiday season, let’s remember a


few common things that can be dangerous to our pets. Many of our dogs


and cats will enjoy being part of the merrymaking, but remember that


some pets can be overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the season.


New decorations, holiday guests, and parties galore can be fun for us,


but can be overwhelming for animals. Make sure to provide your pet


with a safe, quiet place that he or she can retreat to if needed.




Toxic Foods: As we enjoy our delicious holiday feasts, we may feel


compelled to share a snack with our furry friends, but remember that


many holiday foods can make our pets sick. Turkey and ham, especially


bones, can cause gastrointestinal upset or even blockage. Common


ingredients such as chives, leeks, onions, and garlic are toxic to


dogs and cats and can cause breakdown of their red blood cells. We are


all familiar with chocolate being poisonous to dogs, but other


ingredients in baked goods such as raisins, currants, and macadamia


nuts can be equally just as toxic. Xylitol, a sugar free sweetener, is


also poisonous and causes liver damage. If your pet ingests any of


these ingredients, please contact your veterinarian immediately BEFORE


symptoms set in, as treating sooner than later is in the best interest


of your pet.




Toxic Plants: During the holiday season, we often bring nature inside


and decorate our homes with trees, garlands and other plants, but


remember that many of these are toxic to pets. Ensure that these are


placed out of reach. Dogs and cats alike can be surprisingly


inquisitive and want to take a bite out of a plant. Holly, mistletoe,


and yew (an evergreen that is commonly used in fresh holiday decor)


are toxic to pets and if ingested, the pet should be seen by a


veterinarian immediately. Pets have been known to eat pine needles off


of the tree or even drink the water from the tree stand, and this can


also make them sick. To avoid a problem, make sure your pets don’t


have access to these decorative plants.




Decorations: Some dogs and cats are quite curious and want to


investigate and play with holiday decorations. If your dog or cat is


interested in the holiday tree, make sure that the tree is tethered or


secured to the wall so that it does not fall onto your pet causing


serious injury. Glass or fragile ornaments can also pose a risk. Some




pets will even chew on wires of holiday lights resulting in


electrocution. Dogs have also been known to open presents under the


tree, especially when tasty treats are wrapped inside. Ensure that


your pet is safe by limiting their access to decorations by using a


baby gate, keeping ornaments and decor out of their reach, and closely


monitoring them when around the decor. If you have any concerns over


whether your pet ingested something that could be toxic, reach out to


your veterinarian. Better to be safe than sorry when enjoying the


holiday season!

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