The Holiday season is a time when new decorations come out, old friends stop by with gifts and we all get a little busier in our lives. All of these things can mean that our pets are placed at higher risk of exposure to dangers. New things in the house are always interesting to curious pets and more time unsupervised can mean more opportunity to get into trouble. The question always comes up each year- what do we need to look out for? Any non-food item that is eaten runs the risk of creating a blockage in the stomach or intestines of our pets, and items like strings, threads or tinsel are common causes of blockage in cats because of their curious, playful nature. Foods that are new, eaten in excess or high in fat are common problems for dogs in the holiday season and often cause vomiting or diarrhea, but can be more problematic if they affect the pet’s pancreas causing pancreatitis. Toxic plants are also commonly included in the holiday season “No-No” list for pets and pet friendly homes. For a good review of problem plants and other concerns, have a look at this article from the New Hamburg Veterinary Clinic website;
Or another great resource is the ASPCA Animal Poison Control website listing poisonous plants, foods and household products;
And chocolate toxicity is such a common problem in pets that there is a website dedicated to calculating toxic doses;
So what should you do if you think that your dog has been exposed to something dangerous? The above resources are great information, but if you are concerned please call our clinic. We have a veterinarian on call and provide after hours emergency services 24 hours a day. You can reach the New Hamburg Veterinary Clinic at 519-662-1525.
Pet-proofing for the holidays is always difficult, but preventing exposure is the best approach to keeping pets safe. Keeping food items and problem decorations above pet level can be helpful, but if your pet has a curious nature then keeping toxic plants, foods or decorations out of your house may be the best bet for a safe and happy holiday season.