Holiday Season is here!

December 09, 2016

It's nearly holiday season again and with it comes all sorts of beautiful decorations, festivities and potential hazards for our beloved pets! Do you know what to watch out for when it comes to keeping your pet safe and healthy during the holidays?

Seasonal plants – Poinsettias often get a bad rap at Christmas. If your cat or dog nibbles on the flower or leaves it's not that big a deal. They may vomit or drool a little, but there shouldn't be much more than that. Other plants, such as mistletoe and holly, pose a much bigger risk for our pets. Some Christmas bouquets may contain lilies and those are also highly dangerous to our furry family members. If you suspect your pet has ingested holly, mistletoe or lilies, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Ribbons and bows – some cats simply love the shiny of gifts and can't resit getting a taste of the crinkly decorations on them. Unfortunately for cats, passing ribbon can be very difficult and cause them to get very sick very quickly. Every year cats end up requiring surgery to remove the ribbon foreign body that has lodged itself in their gastrointestinal tract. Try to limit the use of ribbons and bows, keep them out of reach of cats until they're ready to be opened or only apply them to the presents at the last moment.

Holidays treats – we may indulge in extra chocolates, cookies and candies, but our pets should not. Not only are many of them harmful to them – chocolate in particular – but foods rich in sugar and butter can cause bad gastrointestinal upset and even pancreatitis in some cases. If you'd like to give your pets special treat, try something geared towards pets and preferably a treat they've had before so you know it's safe on their system.

If you're worried your pet may have gotten into something they shouldn't, always call your veterinarian to see if they should be seen or can be monitored at home. Stick to these simple tips to help keep your pets safe and healthy this holiday season!