Holiday Hazards for your Pet by Dr. Ashley Woo

As the holiday season approaches, it’s always good to be aware of the risks that are presented to our pets each year. Tis’ the season for delicious treats that can be poisonous to our pets, or over indulgence on Christmas left overs that leaves our pets feeling quite ill. My intention is not to be a Scrooge around the holidays, but just to raise awareness of potential hazards to our pets during the holidays!

There is a great concise article that the ASPCA has put together on Holiday hazards:

The most common ailments we are presented with over the holidays involve the ingestion of food, plants, or objects that have caused harm to our pets.

We are all aware that chocolate is poisonous to our dogs and cats, but it is also important to note that feeding any food item that your pet is not habituated to can result in serious gastrointestinal upset. Feeding bones can put your pet at risk of developing an intestinal obstruction, and the majority of these obstructions are resolved surgically. Although some dogs can handle bones, it’s safer to keep them away. The safest approach for our pets is to keep them away from the table and be sure the garbage is closed off from your pet.

We all love receiving gifts during the holidays, and quite commonly we receive plants. Some of these plants can be harmful to our pets if ingested. Poinsettias are mildly toxic and can cause vomiting, drooling, and occasionally diarrhea. Holly can also cause gastrointestinal signs if ingested. Lilies are quite poisonous to cats, if ingested they are at risk of developing kidney failure. Also beware of your pets climbing the tree! Be sure to securely fasten your tree to prevent damage or injury if climbed. If possible, try to keep your pets away from the plants, or opt for artificial plants.

With all the decorations and new toys that appear over the holidays, our curious pets can be at risk of ingesting objects that can make them very sick. Unfortunately, that lovely tinsel is a common culprit. Cats love chewing on string-like objects, and tinsel is a big risk to our cats! If ingested, they are at risk of suffering from a string foreign body (serious gastrointestinal obstruction) which needs to be corrected surgically. Be conscientious of lights and candles that are risk of burning your pet if touched.

The holidays are always a great time to spend with family, friends, and our furry little friends. Just be aware of the potential hazards that our pets can face to ensure a safe and happy holiday!

The Coxwell Animal Clinic team want to wish all of you a very happy and safe holiday season!