A Safe Pet Holiday Guide

A Safe Pet Holiday Guide

Thursday, 10 December 2020 08:16

The holidays are here which means we are probably spending a little extra time with our furry friends. No one wants to spend Christmas at the emergency hospital so we've put together the following guide that explores the most common safety concerns when it comes to the holidays and our pets.

Secure all decorations: Dangling ornaments can be hard to resist for some cats while dogs may like to sniff around the tree and become curious. We recommend placing any breakable ornaments, especially glass ones, higher up on the tree and avoiding tinsel all together if you have cats in the household. Cats can unknowingly eat tinsel and small ornaments which could cause an emergency blockage. Bubble lights can also pose a risk to our pets. They often contain harmful chemicals if ingested. Cats and puppies are particularly prone to chewing strands of lights. It's best to minimize light strands to make them less tempting.

Watch for potential toxins: Poinsettias are a popular Christmas plant that is toxic to our pets. Also toxic are certain lilies, holly, Japanese yew and mistletoe. While poinsettias, hollies and mistletoe can cause GI upset when ingested, certain lillies and Japanese Yew can cause more worrisome side effects that require medical attention immediately. If your pet has ingested any potential toxin, call the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Dangerous foods: The most dangerous foods for our pets are grapes, raisins, currants, chocolate (including cocoa), sugarless gums and candies as well as meat scraps. Dried fruits are often found in holiday baked goods and even a small amount can cause kidney failure in dogs. Chocolate is also highly dangerous to both dogs and cats and can cause GI upset even in small amounts. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener sometimes found in candies and sugar-free gums are extremely toxic to dogs and too many meat scraps can cause GI upset and pancreatitis.

Helpful resources 

If you find yourself needing emergency veterinary care over the holidays, please contact Medvet at 828-665-4399 or Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital at 828-697-7767. 

The Pet Poison Helpline provides a comprehensive list of pet toxins and they have avaliable a 24/7 emergency hotline you can call if you suspect your pet may have ingested a potential toxin.