Common Holiday Hazards
Recommendations to help keep your pet safe this Holiday Season!
There are many wonderful things that come with the holiday season – including surrounding ourselves with family, friends, holiday decorations and good cheer! However, for our pets, these next few months are filled with new people, loud noises, travel, and potentially hazardous foods on the dinner table. Knowing what foods are safe for your pet and knowing what to look for when it comes to potential hazards is the best way to avoid an emergency visit with your animal and keep them happy and safe during this holiday season!
Chocolate: There are several reasons why chocolate is considered toxic to dogs and cats. Chocolate remains one of the top reasons why pets are seen in the emergency clinics. During the holidays, there is an increased amount of baked goodies, candies and treats which often contain chocolate. Depending on how much chocolate your pet eats, symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity, increased water consumption, increased heart rate and frequent urination.
Sugar-Free Foods (Xylitol): Xylitol is an artificial sugar used to sweeten many of the sugar free foods we like to eat including gum and candies. Recently, peanut butter and baked goods have started containing xylitol. This chemical can cause a rapid decrease in your dog’s blood sugar and often results in liver failure. Product labels will list if xylitol is an ingredient in the treat however, it’s best to keep the baked goods away from your dog!
Leftovers/Fat/Trimmings: Although our pets find these delicious, there are many things we serve during the holidays that result in gastrointestinal (tummy) upset for our dogs and cats. Bones are always a bad idea for our dogs as these like to splinter and can cause massive amount of damage within the intestines. Fats, grease, and spicy foods also have their risks including vomiting, diarrhea, or even pancreatitis. Often, we use herbs and spices to heal season our meals which are often toxic as well. Some of these toxic ingredients include: Onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, currants, pecans, macademia nuts and others.
Alcohol: Alcohol is always toxic to pets but we tend to have more people around giving our pets opportunities to investigate their drinks. Alcohol can cause many symptoms but ingestion of large amounts can result in coma or death.
Cats and dogs are often curious when it comes to the Christmas tree or fall decorations. Pets will chew, scratch, and can swallow many of our holiday decorations.
Tinsel: Our top cause of intestinal blockage in cats and dogs. The tinsel itself is not toxic however, it does not pass readily through the bowel results in intestinal foreign bodies which often require surgery to remove.
Plants: Lillies, mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias are common plants we have around our home during the holidays. These plants can cause mild to severe symptoms if ingested by our cats and dogs. Pumpkin and corn stalks can also cause symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea if ingested or if large amounts of stalks are eaten, an intestinal blockage can occur.
Our animals love to investigate the Christmas tree. Live trees are often placed in water which can hold some of the insecticides used to keep the tree healthy. Be sure your pet does not have access to the water bowl used to hold your tree. Also, our pets can attempt to climb or push the tree so be sure any holiday decoration is safely and adequately anchored to avoid injury to your pet!
Guests are often unaware of your pets individual needs therefore it will be important to make sure your pet does not get into things they shouldn’t be during this holiday season. New people in the home and changes to their environment can be stressful to your animal and can result in abnormal behaviors for them. Fireworks and other hazards are also a source of anxiety for our pets during this time of year. Allowing them to have a safe, quiet place to relax during the holidays is the best way for them to enjoy this holiday season.
We at Clay Hill Animal Clinic wish you and your family a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season filled with love, laughter, and good cheer!
Clay Hill Animal Clinic is small town veterinary practice that strives to deliver cutting edge veterinary care in a down-home, relaxed environment. Clay Hill Animal Clinic currently employs the expertise and efforts of three full-time Veterinarians, 1 part-time Veterinarian, two licensed veterinary technicians, and ten other veterinary assistants and staff to ensure that your pets and livestock are properly and efficiently cared for and treated. The animals of Butler County and the surrounding area have been cared for by Clay Hill Animal Clinic and the former Watson Animal Clinic for nearly 40 years on a walk in basis. We will never turn away walk-in business, but in an attempt to keep prices low and efficiency high we are asking our clients to call and make appointments whenever possible. This will ensure that you are seen in a timely manner and that you will see the Veterinarian of your choice. We look forward to seeing you very soon for all of your veterinary care needs.
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HOURS OF OPERATION:
Monday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 8:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m.
Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.