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12 Holiday Hazards that Pet Parents Need to Know

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Christmas is a fun time for the whole family, but there’s no denying that the holiday season can present some problems for pets.

Here we run down twelve of the most common holiday hazards that your furry family member might encounter.

pet holiday hazards

Take care of these potential dangers early on so that everyone can have a happy and healthy Christmas break!

1. Holly & Mistletoe can cause pets an upset stomach or worse. When ingested, Holly can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular issues. When choosing your holiday bouquet, make sure it is pet friendly!

2. Keep your tree well-secured to the ground, especially if you have a cat! When putting up your Christmas tree, make sure it is away from fireplaces, candles or any sharp objects. Try to secure it as much as possible, because a tree-climbing cat = a holiday horror show!

3. Keep your kitten away from the tree lights. Just like humans, cats are fascinated with flashy new things. Christmas tree lights can be ingested and cause serious, potentially fatal problems. The lights can also wrap around your cat and cut off circulation.

christmas tree lights

4. Make sure pets also stay away from tinsel. Playing with this shiny, attractive item can cause an obstruction in the digestive tract. Obstructions lead to vomiting, dehydration and even possible surgery.

5. If your snow globe gets broken, watch out. It may contain anti-freeze that can poison pets. When ingested, the solution inside can cause brain, liver and kidney damage. Remember, it doesn’t take a lot to poison your pet.

6. Avoid potpourri around pets as it can cause serious stomach issues or internal burns. Similarly, if the liquid form of potpourri is ingested, it can cause health problems. These include chemical burns, oral ulcers, excessive drooling, vomiting and inability to eat.

7. Keep alcoholic drinks away from your pets. Not only can they become intoxicated, they can suffer cardiac arrest. Within minutes, animals will show trouble walking or upset stomach. In severe cases, their central nervous system slows down and the effects can be fatal.

8. Chocolate is poisonous! Or any kind of cocoa, for that matter… all those tasty chocolate treats are a big no-no for canines. Humans can easily metabolize Theobromine, the toxic part of chocolate, but dogs process it much more slowly. This means it can quickly build up to toxic levels in their system.

9. Avoid Xylitol. This popular sweetener used in chewing gum and other commonly available products is poisonous to dogs and can be fatal if consumed. Xylitol causes the body to rapidly release the hormone insulin, causing a sudden decrease in your dogs blood glucose.

pet routine
10. Keep things as normal as possible for your pet. Not sticking to their usual routine can be the most common Christmas hazard. Make sure you feed your pets at the normal time and with their normal food. Having quiet time away from guest is also very important. Exercise and sleep are needed to maintain the health of your four legged family member.

11. Clean your dog’s feet after walking in the snow. De-icer and rock salt can cause serious problems to your dog. Hypothermia can be a true hazard to your pet. Know the warning signs. Talk with our medical team about your concerns.

12. Prepare for poison. Not knowing where to get help immediately can be a huge Christmas hazard. Get out your phone now and make a note of the details below for out-of-hours help with Christmas hazards.

Poison Helpline: 1-800-213-6680
www.petpoisonhelpline.com
DON’T WAIT UNTIL OUR CLINIC IS OPEN!
CALL THE POISON HELPLINE IF YOU THINK YOUR PET IS HURTING.

Avoid these common holiday hazards this Christmas and you’ll be able to enjoy a fun family season while knowing your furry family is also safe and sound.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, pet parents!

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