Harbor Point Animal Hospital wishes you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season. In order to ensure the later, please see the helpful hints below.
During the holiday season community veterinary practices and emergency hospitals see a surge in cases of vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, foreign body ingestion, and more.
Holiday Food Safety
Harbor Point always discourages the feeding ‘human’ food to pets and holidays are no exception. The richness, spice, or fat content of the food we eat during this season pose particular threats to our pets digestive tracks and can trigger everything from upset stomachs to inflammation of pancreas (pancreatitis) – a life-threatening illness. Remember, too, that even the best trained pet may give in to the temptation of a good scent. Keep foods out of the reach of pets including any wrapped chocolates – toxic to dogs.
Christmas Tree Trouble!
The Christmas tree. This popular sign of the season is full of hazards for dogs and cats. Tinsel can be an appealing target for play, but if ingested, it can twist up the intestines and may need to be surgically removed. This is a particular danger to cats and kittens, who seem to find tinsel along with yarn, ribbon and string especially appealing to eat.
Ornaments, too, are deadly in the mouths and stomachs of pets, and even the water at the base of the tree contains secretions that can at the very least cause a stomachache. Light strings are no good for chewing, and the whole tree can come down on the cat climbing in its branches. Some dogs may even be inclined to break the rules of house-training on a freshly cut tree. Why else, they reason, would anyone bring a tree into the house?
The best way to keep your pets out of tree trouble is by making the tree off-limits unless you’re there to supervise. Putting the tree in a room with a door you can close is probably the easiest solution.
Plants, Candles, and Other Holiday Decorations
Holiday plants such as mistletoe may look intriguing to your pet, but they’re also toxic, as are the bulbs of the amaryllis plant, holly and lilies. While commonly used to deck the halls, they can make your pet sick if ingested.
Look before you light. Your pet’s wagging tail can easily knock over a burning candle. Liquid potpourri is also dangerous to pets, who could ingest it from decorative bowls and simmering pots.
Keep batteries, loose and in packages, away from pets. They contain corrosives that can cause ulceration in your animal companion’s mouth, tongue and gastrointestinal tract if bitten or swallowed.
The best way to keep your pet safe is to look at everything new that’s in your house for the holidays and figure out the best way to keep it out of the mouths and paws of your pets.
Just like us, animals can experience stress when guests are in our homes. Be sure to reserve a quiet room as a retreat for your pet (and you to ‘check’ on them if needed).
Best wishes to you and your families this holiday season.