Holiday Dangers to Pets

“Tis the season to be jolly”, but jolly may not be the keyword for pets who have met up with the downside of holiday festivities. To make sure everyone in your household, including your pets, has a safe and happy season, beware of these holiday hazards and avoid an unscheduled trip to your Apple Valley Veterinarians.

The Christmas Tree

A Christmas tree is a veritable cat magnet with its glittering lights, shiny tinsel and sparkling glass ornaments, not to mention other irresistible ‘treats.’ Especially appealing to cats, if ingested, these items can invoke serious damage. Tinsel, for example, can wind its way into your pet’s intestines where it can twist and curl around organs, causing a life-threatening crisis. Glass ornaments can cut your pet’s mouth and if swallowed, also wreak intestinal and stomach havoc. Solution: hang these dangerous beauties high up and well out of kitty and pup’s reach.

Twinkling Lights and Flickering Candles

Twinkling Christmas tree and outdoor lighting are fascinating to especially younger pets, but such fascination can be deadly. If your pet can’t stand but to take a taste of twinkling, blinking holiday lights, the result could possibly tragic if he receives an electrical shock. Your best prevention bet is to plug your lights into a three-prong, grounded extension cord. Candles are another anomaly that attracts pets and though they can indeed be burned should they pursue their curiosity, a tipped-by-pet candle can cause a disastrous fire in your home.

Gift Wrap and Ribbon

A rolled-up ball of gift wrapping can be a super substitute for the tennis ball or catnip toy, and it is generally harmless, but a super-curious pet might become more inquisitive when your back is turned and take a chomp or two, especially if it’s of the shiny variety. The possible result could be that the   chunk or two ends up in your pet’s throat where it can inflict serious damage. Also, if ingested, wrapping ribbon can twist its way into your pet’s intestines in the same way as tinsel.

Dangers of Food

Simply put: most dogs don’t like to eat, they LOVE to eat, and during the holidays, some particularly dangerous foods are more abundant than usual. Chocolate is toxic for dogs, especially darker, richer chocolate. Some of the symptoms of chocolate toxicity you could see are diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, and even death. A huge issue when it comes to your pets is the ingestion of bone pieces, especially from poultry such as turkeys. Perforations of the stomach and intestines are potentially lethal. Another problem for our pets are nuts like almonds and pistachio nuts which can be toxic or result in digestive tract obstruction needing surgical intervention.

Holiday Plants

Despite the popular belief, poinsettia is not poisonous to pets. However, it can cause irritation to the mouth or stomach when your pet consumes moderate quantities of it. Pine needles and holly, although not poisonous, can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, lethargy and weakness when eaten. Finally, mistletoe, which is toxic, can cause diarrhea, vomiting, breathing issues, and possibly even death.

If you see any of these signs or you suspect your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t call us at 860-628-9635.

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