Enjoying the Holidays With Your Pets

Enjoying the Holidays With Your Pets

The Holiday season is filled with opportunities to show appreciation for friends and family. Companion animal family members can find this time of year especially exciting and it's important to take special precautions to keep our pet’s safe and avoid holiday hazards.

Say no to tinsel! Tinsel can be an especially attractive toy to cats and may be easily swallowed during play. Once swallowed tinsel can become stuck in the stomach or intestines and act as a life threatening “string foreign body” requiring surgery. Ribbons carry the same risk.

Avoid leaving pets alone in a room with burning candles or decorated trees they can knock over. Liquid potpourri should be kept out of pets reach – it can cause chemical burns if licked and may contain essential oils that are highly toxic to pets.

Pick plants carefully. Mistletoe, Holly and Poinsettias are all toxic to pets, and Lilies are highly toxic to cats. A list of toxic and non-toxic plants can be found here. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

Traditional holiday meals are not a good tradition for pets. Turkey bones can cause life threatening GI obstructions requiring surgery. Consumption of rich, spicy, fatty foods may lead to pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or gastroenteritis (inflammation in the stomach and intestines). Both of these conditions can be very serious and require extensive hospitalization.

Sweets do not make good treats! Chocolate, raisins or grapes and the artificial sweetener xylitol can be found in many holiday desserts including panettone bread and fruit cake. Ingestion of these toxins can have serious and, in some cases, lethal consequences.

Reindeer Dog

Foods left out on kitchen counters or buffets can be especially difficult to monitor. It may best to keep pets in a separate room with their food, water, favorite toys and beds during large family gatherings or parties. Make sure leftovers are stored out of reach and garbage can lids are secured shut as part of your post event clean up.

Starting to wonder how you can celebrate the holidays with your pet? A new pet friendly toy, puzzle feeder or bed are all good gift options but there’s no substitute for the thing your pet values the most – time with you! An extra walk, play time or just hanging out together recovering from holiday hustle and bustle is priceless gift you can give to your pet and yourself!