Holiday Safety Hazards for Pets

The holidays are fun, even for pets, but the season brings added risks for our four-legged family members. Learn to recognize and manage holiday hazards to keep your pet safe throughout the festivities.

Tinsel

Tinsel is attractive, especially to cats. Tinsel is not toxic but consuming tinsel can cause serious harm to your pet’s digestive system. The long, tough strands can actually cut through the intestine and cause peritonitis.

Ornaments

Pets love to play with bright, colorful ornaments, but may end up breaking or even chewing and swallowing these fragile decorations. Sharp, broken pieces can lacerate the animal’s mouth,christmas-pet-safety-tips throat, and digestive tract. Larger pieces can cause an obstruction and emergency surgery may be needed.

Christmas Trees

Cats love to climb trees, especially when the tree is indoors and loaded with ornaments and other decorations that look a lot like cat toys. A climbing cat can pull a fully decorated Christmas tree crashing to the ground, potentially injuring the animal. Tree water may contain dangerous fertilizers and stagnant tree water may contain unhealthy bacteria, which is dangerous to both dogs and cats.

Mistletoe and Holly

Consuming holly may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Eating mistletoe can result in stomach upset and even heart problems. A cat may suffer kidney failure after ingesting some types of lilies.

Chocolate

A dog or cat that eats chocolate may experience vomiting and diarrhea, panting, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and, in severe cases, even death. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic compounds it contains.

Dough

Consuming raw bread dough is dangerous for pets, as heat from the animal’s body causes the dough to rise inside its stomach. The pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating.

I Think My Pet Ate It! Now What?

If your pet has encountered or ingested one of these holiday hazards, contact your veterinarian without delay. Make this holiday season merry for everyone by keeping your animal companions safe from these potential holiday hazards.

Sources:

ASPCA, “Holiday Safety Tips.” 2014.

Pet Poison HelpLine, “Winter Holiday Pet Poison Tips.” 2014

 

 

 

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