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December 2013

Holiday Hazards

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HOLIDAY HAZARDS FOR PETS

The holidays will be soon upon us and we are all looking forward to enjoying the festivities with our friends and family. It is a busy time of the year and so it is best to keep in mind that this is also a common time that we see unfortunate illness and accidents with our pets due to decorations, foods and the general chaos associated with the festive season.

There are many dangers to pets during the holiday season, here’s some information to help keep your pet safe:

Holiday plants – can be very toxic to pets. Examples include, mistletoe, holly, lilies and amaryllis bulbs. Despite its reputation, poinsettias are not very toxic to pets although they can cause minor digestive upset or drooling. In general, keep these plants out of the way of pets including cats. Signs can be mild and self-limiting, such as vomiting and diarrhea but can be severe causing kidney failure, even death.

Extra Goodies –
Rich, spicy and fatty foods can cause problems such as, gastrointestinal upset and even pancreatitis. Do not overindulge your pet with new and rich foods.

Chocolate is toxic – Baked goods often contain significant amounts of cocoa. Do not leave food or candies under the tree or in reach of pets. Many ingestion episodes of chocolate toxicity have occurred from a dog unwrapping the Christmas gifts early!

Christmas Trees and Decorations –
avoid using tinsel and keep all decorations out of eating reach to avoid obstructions. Ribbon, string are especially attractive to cats and are common causes of intestinal blockage. In addition, liquid potpourri can cause burns if ingested.

Cold Weather – take the appropriate precautions for your breed of dog or cat to keep them warm. Booties and jackets help keep pets warm. Bringing pets inside during freezing temperatures is recommended. Insulated houses or pens are a must for outdoor dogs and during extreme weather they should be brought into a heated space. Water bowls freeze quickly outdoors.

Fan Belt Injuries –
to avoid any horrible accidents, bang the hood of your car before starting during the winter months. Cats tend to hide in engines for warmth.

Antifreeze – While we are winterizing our trailers and putting coolant in our vehicles we must be very cautious. Pets are attracted to the sweet taste, so please ensure any in your antifreeze in the household it is put away and that all spills are completely cleaned up. Very small amounts will cause kidney failure and death within a very short period of time.

Rodenticides –
This is a common time that we see mice coming into the house. Store appropriately and if put out for rodents, ensure your pets can not ingest it.

Here is to a safe, happy and enjoyable festive season with our furry and not so furry companions!