The holidays are the best time of year for entertaining, decorations, songs, parties, family, and friends that make the holidays so fun and warm. But this time of year tends to be busy at animal hospitals with a lot of pet emergencies. In fact, the daily pet emergencies at the vet hospitals nearly double during the holidays. Pets eat just about anything. They do not discriminate. And during the holidays, there are temptations around every corner, including a whole list of choking hazards. Holiday pet safety is a real concern. So prepare now to avoid a trip to the animal emergency hospital later!
Today, let’s talk about some of the most “typical” holiday pet emergencies I see. And then I want to share some great ways to celebrate the holidays with your pets. No one wants to be left out of the fun during the holiday season, especially your furbabies!
Holiday Pet Safety Tips to Avoid an Animal Emergency Hospital Visit
There are many foods we love that are just not good for our pets. They can cause a whole host of conditions from stomach upset to death. Many of these foods are staples at our holiday gatherings. In addition, many fun, holiday decorations and common items pose a threat to your furbabies.
So watch out for them to keep your pets out of the ER this holiday!
Watch Out for These Holiday Foods:
- Rich and fatty foods can cause problems ranging from stomach upset to more serious illnesses such as pancreatitis, resulting in pain, vomiting, and dehydration.
- Alcohol can cause intoxication in our pets, and many dogs are attracted to the sweet taste and smell.
- Chocolate, coffee, and tea all contain dangerous components called xanthines, which cause nervous system or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation. Problems from ingestion range from diarrhea to seizures and death. Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the most toxic to our pets.
- Whole Bones from fish, meat, or poultry, even small whole bones, can splinter and cause tearing throughout the intestinal tract requiring surgery. Ground up bones are fine as a supplement. Be cautious with whole bones.
- Tobacco products can be fatal to pets if ingested. Signs of poisoning develop within 15 to 45 minutes and include over-excitement, salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pets may develop seizures, collapse, and even die from cardiac arrest. Keep all tobacco out of the reach of pets, and make sure to empty all ashtrays regularly.
- Uncooked yeast dough can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
- Grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and xylitol (an artificial sweetener) are toxic for pets.
- Candy canes, gingerbread people, popcorn, raisins, or cranberry garlands can be enticing to your pet which, when ingested, can cause upset stomach or a more serious intestinal obstruction.
Watch Out for These Holiday Items:
- Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and lilies are poisonous for pets.
- Ribbons, yarn, and string can cause intestinal blockage resulting in the need for surgery or even death.
- Adhesives, glues, and oil-based potpourri can be toxic.
- Candles can be knocked down causing fires and burns.
- Tree needles can be toxic and cause mouth and stomach irritation.
- Tinsel, when ingested, can block the intestines.
- Angel hair, flocking, and artificial snow are mildly toxic to pets.
- Electrical cords can cause problems ranging from burned mouths to electrical shock or death by electrocution. Larger lights can become hot and can also cause burns.
- Ornaments can result in life-threatening emergencies when ingested. Shards from broken glass can cause serious injuries to paws, mouths, and other parts of the body.
- Holiday tree water may contain toxic fertilizers and can harbor bacteria.
Protect Your Pets from Unplanned Emergencies with Pet Insurance
Pet ownership is a huge responsibility – and whether it is the holiday season where we see a lot of pet emergencies or everyday life, pet emergencies and illnesses are common. Pet care can be expensive, and thinking about affordable pet care options is often something new pet owners overlook.
But the good news is that you CAN prepare for some of the financial responsibilities of pet ownership!
Pet insurance for dogs can be a helpful tool in keeping your new family member in tip top shape! The very best time to invest in a pet insurance plan for your bull terrier is as a healthy puppy. You can’t predict the future, but having pet insurance is one thing you can do to help alleviate financial burdens of bull terrier health issues later in life.
Purchasing pet insurance for your pet can help protect you from potentially expensive veterinary bills. Pet insurance can also provide financial coverage for the wellness preventative care of your pet (yearly bloodwork, vaccinations, routine dental cleanings). These regular visits can also be expensive over your pet’s lifetime. Investing in a pet insurance plan, like Spot Pet Insurance, while your furbaby is still young helps you to do whatever your pet will need over their lifetime without financial constraints and limitations.
Final Thoughts on Holiday Pet Safety – Enjoy This Time With Your Pets, Too!
The holidays are about family and friends but also about THE FOOD! We always love to host and serve lots of great food and drinks during the holiday season. There is no need for your pets to feel left out. Let them indulge just like we do! Just make sure they indulge in the foods that will keep them out of an animal emergency hospital!
I hope to help you avoid potential dangers during the holidays. Remember, with all of the festivities, do not forget to relax and spend some quality time with your pet. Your dog or cat will think it is the best gift of all!