It’s a busy time of the year, so it’s easy to overlook potential hazards that can be dangerous for our pets.
Ornaments: First, if you have a real Christmas tree, don’t let the pet drink the water from the base of the tree, especially if preservatives chemicals have been added.
Second, cover the cord from any electrical lights or other decorations. Pets like to chew through cords. You should be also careful with their access to places where candles may be lit.
Liquid Potpourri: While scents can be delightful, ingestion can prove deadly, especially for cats. While any pet might be burned by heated oils, cats are particularly sensitive to the cationic detergents that are found in such products.
Chocolate: We’ve all heard that chocolate can be toxic to pets, but just how much is too much? It depends on the size of the pet and the type of chocolate. The most dangerous chocolates are baker’s chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and dark chocolate.
Holiday Plants: Curious pets often nibble on holiday plants. Though most are fairly safe, some like lilies, poinsettias, holly and mistletoe can prove fatal, even with small ingestion.
Ribbon and Tinsel: These shiny strings are simply too tempeting for cats to resist. Though they’re not poisonous, when ingested, these strings can result in a life-threatening intestinal perforation. When pets swallow something stringy, like ribbon, yarn, or floss, the stringy item wraps around the base of the tongue or anchors in the stomach and is unable to pass through the intestinal tissue, resulting in severe damage and possible rupture of the pet’s intestinal tract. Even after surgical removal, some pets may not survive.
If a pet does ingest a long piece of tinsel, ribbon thread or string, immediately bring the animal into the clinic for an examination. Most importantly, if you can see the string hanging from the pet’s mouth or anus, do not pull on it, as doing so may result in further tissue damage.
Table: A problem to watch out for is the temptation to offer table scraps. Eating is a big part of our celebration, but we should not include the family pet. Pets are creatures of habit and changes in their usual diet can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Doors: When friends and family visit your house, they may not be as diligent as you are in keeping doors closed. An excited or scared pet during the extra traffic in the house may see a open door as an invitation to stray. Keep a note by the door alerting visitors about your pets and have a recent photo with microchip nummber and vaccination records in a easy-to-grab folder.
Have a wonderful holiday season feasting with family and friends, without any incidents or visits to the Emergency Clinic!