The holidays are a time to create and share memories, laugh and eat great food; however, there are many hidden dangers that are lurking around your home that can cause serious injury or even death for your four legged family members. Here’s a list of some common holiday dangers to look out for:
1. Holiday Plants: even though they are beautiful, they are also poisonous if ingested. Some poisonous plants include holly and holly berries, ivy, lilies, pine, mistletoe and poinsettia. If your pet ingests these plants, common symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and lethargy.
2. Christmas Trees: Using a tree stand with water that your pet can drink from is very dangerous- the water may be contaminated with chemicals or insecticides leached from the tree itself. Also, look out for the metal hooks that display your ornaments, you don’t want your pet swallowing them for obvious reasons. Most cats love to play with string, ribbon, rubber bands and tinsel. What cats don’t know is that if these items are ingested, they can cut their intestines.
3. Food: Unfortunately, you can’t share your holiday food with your pets. Turkey and ham should never be given to your pet because they contain large amounts of dangerous bacteria. Do not feed your pet bones- especially poultry bones that splinter easily. Each year, pets are treated for consumption of splintered bones which cause pain and sometimes death. Sweets, chocolate, macadamia nuts, raisins, grapes, coffee, alcoholic drinks and even bread dough can also be fatal if your dog ingests it.
4. Toys: Be sure that small toy pieces, crayons, and paints are put away in a safe place. More often than not, ingested plastic or cloth toys must be removed surgically.
5. Other Holiday Items: Wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, candles, and styrofoam.
If you are hosting the party, surely you will have some form of stress getting everything ready. What you forget is that your pets can usually feel that stress too, since they are much attuned to your emotions and what you are up to. During a party, make sure you have a place to bring your pet to relax from all the commotion. The excitement can sometimes stress them out. Also, be sure to have a collar on your pets- with the front door opening and closing constantly, there will be no doubt that your pet will think of this as an opportunity to take a little walk around the neighborhood. Be sure that they are safe and not walking around in the streets- with people rushing all over the place, it just takes one driver to ruin your holiday spirit.
We hope these tips will help you and your pet this holiday season!
The Corner Animal Hospital is an online pet pharmacy/ store (www.shop.corneranimal.com) and veterinary service (www.corneranimal.com) in Long Island, NY. Other services include : annual physical exams, vaccines, heart worm tests and preventative measures, dental exams and cleaning, spays and neuters, x-rays, soft tissue surgeries, ultrasound, endoscopy, orthopedic surgeries, and boarding.
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