The Thanksgiving feast might be over, but as we approach the rest of the holiday season, there are still many things to consider to keep your pets safe and you out of the animal ER!
This is the time of year when most people are focused on shopping for their loved ones, but veterinarians are focused on treating pets with pancreatitis and obstructions for bones or other food related items.
Thomas F. Dock, Practice Manager and Veterinary Journalist, Noah’s Animal Hospitals, shares his holiday concerns for pets and how YOU can help keep them safe!
1. As you plan your holiday parties and dinners, remember that fatty foods (like ham, the skin of chicken and turkey) should be on the naughty list for your pet. Likewise, be sure to dispose of any carcasses in a secure container, preferably behind a sturdy door!
2. Other food items that must be kept from your pets include macadamia nuts, grapes and raisins, foods with excessive garlic and spices, sweets with Xylitol, chocolates and, it should go without saying, alcohol. Don’t like that fruitcake? DO NOT give it to your dog…the grapes, raisins and currants could cause acute kidney failure.
3. Holiday decorations have the potential for causing problems too! Glass ornaments can break, tinsel and garland are dangerous for cats and snow globes contain a type of antifreeze.
4. Many people worry about holiday ornamental plants. Urban myth has poinsettias as listed as deadly to pets, but in reality, these decorative favorites have a milky white say that could cause mild vomiting, diarrhea and drooling. It’s a fairly safe plant.
5. More concerning plants include live mistletoe and holly. Both have the potential to cause vomiting and diarrhea, but mistletoe, in large amounts and the European variety, can cause cardiovascular issues and/or neurological signs. Thankfully, most pets won’t eat that much.
6. Although lilies are more of a problem closer to Easter, cat owners should be aware that many lilies are deadly to their feline friends!
7. Antifreeze is a common and deadly pet poisoning during colder months. If you suspect your pet has consumed any antifreeze at all, you must contact your veterinarian immediately! Ingestion of two teaspoons is lethal to cats and 2 tablespoons will kill a 40-50 lb dog!
8. Antifreeze has a sweet taste to pets, so they will readily lap up any spilled material. If you spill antifreeze, dilute the area well with water and sweep excess water into a rocky or sandy area. Cover area with soil to keep pets from licking at the rocks.
9. Ice melts are also a concern. In most cases, simply brushing the salt off your pet’s feet will be enough, but there are rare cases where dogs might eat enough of the product to cause salt poisoning.
10. Like antifreeze, pet “safer” products are available but still have the potential for danger.
Photo source: Pexels
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