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Posted on 12-01-2015

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but can also be some of the most dangerous times for our pets. From rich holiday foods, to haphazard shiny decorations, our homes are filled with many risks. Don’t let an accident or emergency ruin the holiday spirit. Here are a few common dangers and how to avoid them.

Danger: Guests and family members feeding pets holiday foods

Solution: Rich holiday foods often lead to unwelcome intestinal issues. These can be anything from minor to major and life threatening. We often see pancreatitis- a life threatening illness- develop from these types of food. Bones can also lodge in the stomach and throat area causing an emergency. Make it clear to guests that pets are not allowed to have table food. Take this opportunity to teach pets not to beg at the table so your guests are not tempted to sneak a treat.

Danger: Cats Climbing the Christmas Tree

Solution: Place trees up high on tables to decrease the appeal of climbing. Place trees in a room that can be closed off unless cats are under supervision. Another tip is to place a moat of tinfoil around the base of the tree- most cats hate walking on tinfoil! It is also important to not allow pets to drink from the water basin on the tree. Trees can be chemically treated and the water can become stagnant with bacteria, making pets ill.

Danger: Menorahs, Candles and other lighted décor

Solution: Keep pets at a safe distance. It is tradition to allow the Menorah to burn for at least half an hour. As with any candles, never leave unsupervised and place in an area up high. Lighted decorations should always be placed at a safe distance- pets can electrocute themselves if wires are chewed. 

Danger: Tinsel, Garlands and Glass ornaments

Solution: These decorations need to be out of reach of tempted pets. Many cats will try to ingest tinsel or bat at glass ornaments. Tinsel can easily cause an intestinal blockage and lead to emergency surgery. If you have a very tempted playful pet consider replacing glass ornaments with a more durable plastic or non-breakable version.

Remember the holidays are a time to spend with loved ones and enjoying their company, not sitting in the waiting room of the emergency hospital with a sick pet.

Happy Holidays from your neighborhood veterinary hospital! 

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