Preventive Measures During the Christmas Season!

The Christmas season is fast approaching & with all the hustle & bustle of continuous family gatherings, activities & feel good moments. The ongoing distractions can make you overlook the potential dangers to our furry family members. Being aware beforehand can help stop you from a trip to the veterinary emergency clinic.

Listed below are some potential dangers to your furry family members. Being aware of these will help you & your pet have a safe, fun, joyous, healthy Christmas.

  1. Human fatty/sugary foods – This time of year is filled with yummy food, sweet treats & it seems they are everywhere. Unfortunately, a lot of these foods can be very toxic for your pets. For example, Fruitcake, from the yeast to the raisins, currants & even alcohol that is commonly used in fruit cakes can be quite dangerous to pets. Chocolate is also a big toxicity towards pets especially this time a year; it causes quite a few visits to the emergency clinic. Chocolate contains caffeine, fats & high doses of sugars. Bones & fat trimmings are also dangerous to your pets. This can cause pancreatitis which is a potentially life-threatening situation. These are just a few foods that can be dangerous towards your animals. As the holiday season approaches keep your animals on a regular healthy diet & keep your visitors aware not to feed your pets anything besides there regular food.
  2. Christmas decorations such as lights, ribbons, gift wrap & tinsel – Lights for your pets can be positively shocking!! If your pet happens to bite into a strand of lights, they could seriously burn their mouth or even cause a seizure. Gift wrap & ribbons are another danger as they could easily swallow some as pets like to do & cause a digestive obstruction which will lead to emergency surgery. This same goes for that lovely old fashion tinsel. Also, be careful with your beautiful glass bulbs, when they break they shatter & is very painful to your furry pets if they should get stuck in there paw.
  3. Batteries – Batteries can be found everywhere during Christmas. They can be found in presents, Christmas displays, cell phones, key chains & much more. While alkaline batteries can cause burns when chewed & an obstruction if swallowed. It is the smaller disc type batteries that can cause more likely fatal burns in cats & dogs mouth/esophagus.
  4. Christmas trees & plants – Ingestion of small amounts of pine needles from Christmas trees or wreaths can cause G.I. Upset, oral irritation, excessive drooling vomiting, diarrhea & lethargy. This also applies for mistletoe as well. Please remember to avoid to use any chemicals to add to your trees or plants water where animals like to drink from these places, especially if it gives the water a sweet taste. Holly berries as well are also a no-no for your pets as it can cause vomiting, diarrhea & even depression.
  5. Houseguests – Even though we may love to see our house guests coming & bringing lots of cheer, most times are pets are not so keen. Be aware of your pets reactions as people come & your home becomes loud & filled with holiday spirit. Sometimes it is often better to have pets closed off to a quiet space. When pets become anxious, we don’t want them to escape with the door opening & closing & try to take a run for it. Also, please try to have your house guests hang up their coats & purses so your furry animals cannot reach or get into anything that may spill out that could make them sick. Remind them kindly as well, not to feed your animal anything from there plate or anything in general without your consent. These little tasks are much easier to do & less awkward than trying to foot them with the bill from the emergency visit.

Taking these small precautions during your Christmas holiday season will give you one step more to having a wonderful Merry Christmas.

From us here at the Torbay Road Animal Hospital we wish each & every one of you a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Written by: Torbay Road Animal Hospital