The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with the whole family, but here are some tips you may not know:
- Be aware of Christmas traditions you may not know are poisonous to your pet such as poinsettia, mistletoe, tree longevity products added to the water, and lily plants. Evergreen trees are ok, but not the little juniper berries that are on some species. Amaryllis plants are not poisonous, but will give your pet a nasty bout of diarrhea.
- Tinsel and ribbon are particularly dangerous to your pet’s intestines, and are likely to cause obstruction or perforation, often requiring surgery.
- Broken ornaments should be cleaned up immediately to avoid eating or cut pads. Broken snow globes also pose the problem of the liquid inside; some have antifreeze in them.
- Avoid the temptation of “those eyes” by feeding your pet a meal while you have yours. Pet food is better for your pet, and avoids digestive upset and blockages. Also, some common foods we eat are dangerous or poisonous to pets such as grapes, raisins, avocados, bread dough, chocolate, alcohol, hops, macadamia nuts, moldy foods, onions, garlic, xylitol, and anything that may have bones in it.
- Visitors who are not “pet people” don’t know your normal routine. Many dogs and cats escape when a door or garage is left open during the holidays. You may want to consider boarding your dogs, cats, birds or exotic pets with us to enjoy your holiday without anxiety.
- Visitors who bring their pets along may be exposing your pet to new health issues as well. Be sure your pets are current on all vaccinations. You may not want to insult your visitors, but it might be a good idea to have a fecal sample brought in for laboratory analysis a week after they leave. Exposure to infected pets can also mean exposure to intestinal parasites and external parasites, so be sure to use a preventive flea and tick product.
- We have been lucky so far, but cold, snow and ice are coming! Rock salt can irritate delicate paws and cause internal injuries if ingested during grooming. Prevent serious dermatitis by rinsing and drying feet thoroughly after returning inside.
- Be sure your car and guests’ cars are not leaking antifreeze. Dogs and cats love the taste, but just a few licks can damage kidneys and cause irreversible and fatal kidney failure. Prevent their access to this deadly chemical.
- Candles can burn your pet, and electric cords from decorations and lights can electrocute your pet if bitten.
Our animal companions fill our hearts with joy every day of our lives. Let us help you keep them safe so everyone can enjoy Happy Holidays!