A Veterinarian's Tips On Keeping Your Pets Safe During The Holidays!

A Veterinarian’s Tips On Keeping Your Pets Safe During The Holidays!

I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!  I love the entertaining, decorations, songs, parties, family and friends that make the holidays so fun and warm.  It also tends to be a crazy time at my animal hospital with a lot of emergencies.  In fact, the daily emergencies at the hospital nearly double during the holidays. I have been a veterinarian for 10 years, so as you can imagine, I have seen A LOT if not EVERYTHING. Pets eat EVERYTHING and they do not the discriminate.  During the holidays, there seems to be a smorgasbord of yummy delights for our pets.  As funny as some of these emergencies can be, I do like to send out emails and Facebook posts about the “typical” holiday emergencies to help prepare my clients so they can avoid emergency trips to the veterinarian.

Foods Pets Should Avoid:

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.

Uncooked meat, fish, and poultry can contain disease-causing bacteria, such as E. coli, and parasites like Toxoplasma Gondii.

Bones from fish, meat, or poultry, even small bones, can splinter and cause tearing throughout the intestinal tract requiring surgery.

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.

Holiday Emergencies To Be Cautious Of:

Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies are poisonous for pets.

Ribbons, yarn, and string can cause intestinal blockage resulting in the need for surgery and possibly 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 from 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.

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 us!  Make sure to have treats and food easily accessible during the holiday festivities and spoil your pets rotten.  I absolutely love and trust Wellness CORE and it is what feed my own dog. Wellness CORE is a balanced diet that is grain free, contains all the highest quality ingredients, added supplements (omega 3 fatty acids, and glucosamine), and higher protein for lean body mass and muscle tone.  They also have so many recipes and during the holidays I like to get my pup the holiday themed recipes, like turkey and pumpkin.

I hope this will help you avoid potential dangers during the holidays.  And 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 that is the best gift of all.   Happy Holidays!



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