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How Many Holiday Hazards can you spot in this picture? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Sunday, 03 December 2017 13:37

While Christmas & New Year's can be lots of fun for us humans, our pets are surrounded by temptation and confronted by a multitude of dangers at this time of year. Please keep a close eye on ALL animals through the New Year, to ensure all family members have a Merry Christmas!  #1 on our Holiday Hazards list?   MISTLETOE & HOLLY!

Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to pets Poinsettias & Christmas cactus are relatively harmless.  If ingested, they may cause an irritating reaction in the mouths of dogs & cats.  Mistletoe & Holly however can be toxic! 

Possible symptoms: If ingested, Mistletoe and holly may cause vomiting, diarrhea, as well as heart arrhythmia.

Rounding out our TOP 10 Holiday Hazards list:

TINSEL & RIBBONS:These shiny decorations may look pretty, but they can cause serious problems for pets. Never wrap tinsel or ribbon around the neck of a pet, no matter how festive it looks as this is a choking hazard. If swallowed tinsel and other decorations can cut up the digestive tract and cause intestinal obstruction.

ELECTRICAL CORDS: Some animals love to chew electrical cords, and all the additional lights strung up around the house present a new hazard. To protect pets, turn off lights and unplug them when you aren’t home. Symptoms: If chewed, live electrical cords can cause burns in or around a pet’s mouth, difficulty breathing, seizures and cardiac arrest.

CHRISTMAS TREES: Pine needles won’t harm your pet, but there are plenty of dangers surrounding a Christmas tree. The tree should always be properly secured, and fragile glass ornaments should be kept off low-lying branches to avoid losing family favorites if your pet decides to play. If your cat is prone to climbing, leave ornaments off the tree for a few days to see if he will attempt to climb it.  CAUTION: If you have a real Christmas tree, don’t add fertilizer to the tree water, and keep pets away from stagnant water in the reservoir.  Tree fertilizer and stagnant water may cause vomiting and diarrhea.

THE HOLIDAY RUSH: The hustle & bustle of the season may be exciting for your family, but constant visitors and activity can be confusing and stressful for pets. Make sure your furry friends have a safe, quiet space to retreat to.  Stress can have an impact on both cats and dogs. Old or sick pets may be more sensitive to extra activity and a change of routine.  Stress may show up as stomach discomfort, diarrhea and irritability.

ALCOHOL: Fluffy might look thirsty, but keep her away from the punch and egg nog. Pets should never ingest alcoholic beverages because alcohol depresses the nervous system.  Symptoms: Alcohol may cause vomiting, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma & seizures.

CHOCOLATE contains theobromine and caffeine - both of which are toxic to pets.  The amount of this chemical in chocolate, depends on: the total concentration of cocoa, how much is eaten, and the size of the animal.  In mild cases, chocolate toxicity symptoms include: restlessness & hyperactivity. While vomiting, diarrhea and seizures may also occur. If you suspect or KNOW your pet has ingested Alcohol or Chocolate, it's imperative you contact your veterinary team immediately.

ONIONS, GARLIC & CHIVES: In fresh or powdered form, ALL 3 are toxic to dogs & cats.  The toxin attacks the red blood cells, may lead to weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing, and pale or blue mucous membranes.

COOKED POULTRY BONES become brittle, and if eaten will splinter, possibly getting lodged in your pet's throat or puncture the intestinal tract.

FATTY FOODS are NEVER a good thing to feed them.  This could cause an upset stomach & may lead to pancreatitis.  If left untreated may cause death. Remember what may be healthy to you, may not be healthy for your pets.  Feeding your dog(s)/cat(s) their own food will keep them healthy & happy right through the New Year!


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