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Posted on 12-14-2015

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Pets are part of the family and are included in many family holidays and festivities. With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, please remember to try and keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Abrupt changes in their routine can negatively impact your furry friend and cause stress, anxiety, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. In addition to minimizing changes in routines, also remember to keep your pets safe from these common holiday decorations:

  • Christmas trees- Make sure that you securely anchor your tree so it doesn’t fall over and injure your pet. Also prevent pets from drinking the tree water. The water may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset, or the water may be stagnant which can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause nausea or diarrhea.
  • Mistletoe & Holly- When ingested, Holly can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause not only gastrointestinal problems, but cardiovascular problems as well.
  • Lilies- Many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested.
  • Tinsel, Ribbon and Garland- These are very attractive “toys” for cats. If swallowed they can cause vomiting and possibly an intestinal obstruction which will require surgery for removal.
  • Candles- Do not leave lit candles unattended. Pets could burn themselves or knock them over and start a fire. Always remember to put candles out when you leave the room.
  • Liquid Potpourri & Sachets- Exposure to these liquids can cause skin or oral damage as well as possible illness or death.
  • Wires, Batteries & Ornaments- Keep all three of these out of harms way. If bitten into, a wire could deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock. Punctured batteries can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus from the acid inside them. Breakable ornaments could cause damage to your pet’s mouth if chewed on. If swallowed they could damage the intestinal tract.

As always be careful what you feed your pet. Avoid rich fatty foods, bones, grapes, chocolate, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and table scrapes. Make sure to properly secure the garbage. Also keep in mind that if you have people in the house who smoke, nicotine is harmful in that it is a stimulant that increases the heart rate which can lead to collapse and possibly even death. Please ask those that smoke to do so outside and hide all nicotine products.

Don’t forget about New Year’s! Confetti is a possible source for intestinal obstruction if eaten by your pet. The noise involved with celebrating may also scare your pet. Please keep them in a safe, quiet location to keep them as calm and relaxed as possible.

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