Holiday Tips for You and Your Pet

While you enjoy time with friends and family this holiday season, please ensure your pets are safe and well cared for.  Below are some tips and precautions to avoid a veterinary visit and keep your pets happy.

Stash Dangerous Food Out of Your Pet’s Reach: Foods like chocolate can be toxic to your furry friend.  Symptoms can range from vomiting or diarrhea to more serious symptoms such as seizures or even death. If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate or anything toxic, rush them to an emergency veterinary visit.  Other toxic foods include:

-Alcohol (even a small amount of alcohol can cause poisoning)

-Bones (raw and cooked bones are extremely dangerous because they can splinter and puncture your pet’s stomach or intestines, please keep them far away from your pet’s reach)

-Bread Dough Yeast (the yeast can cause the dough to continue to expand once ingested and produce toxic byproducts)

-Garlic (a small portion can destruct red blood cells and cause anemia)

-Grapes (can cause kidney failure in dogs, if ingested please seek veterinary care immediately)

-Macadamia Nuts (these nuts can cause vomiting, weakness and fever in dogs)

-Onions (a small portion can destruct red blood cells and cause anemia)

-Raisins (can cause kidney failure in dogs, if ingested please seek veterinary care immediately)

-Table Scraps (fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain and decreased appetite, hospitalization is typically required)

-Xylitol (this sweetener found in sugar free foods can be highly toxic to dogs and can cause a life-threatening low blood sugar)

Keep Holiday Decorations at a Safe Distance:  Many pets are intrigued by lots of shiny, sparkling and blinking decorations that go up during the holidays.  Decorations like tinsel, lights, candles and ornaments can pose a serious hazard to your pets if they chew or ingest them.  Please restrict your pet’s access to holiday decor.  Festive plants such as poinsettias can cause irritation like vomiting and diarrhea while plants like holly and lilies can be toxic.

Protect Your Pet From the Cold:  Despite their fur, pets are often still affected by cold temperatures.  Frigid weather, snow and sleet can cause hypothermia and frost bite.  When possible, bring your pets inside to protect them from the cold.  If you are unable to bring your pet indoors, make sure they have a stable, dry, warm shelter available to them at all times.  Straw bedding and dog houses raised off the ground can help keep dogs warm.  Insulated cat boxes can be created with plastic bins or cardboard boxes.

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