Holiday Tips from Our Vet

22 Dec

Last week, we got a beautifully informative email from Lucy’s vet about how to keep her safe during the holiday season. We loved it so much that we felt compelled to share it with you! It even reminded us of some rules that we break, and should definitely be more conscientious of! (And if you’re a New York City pet owner and need a new vet, look no further! City Vet Care is the place to take your family’s pet for medical care!)

Holiday Hazard How to Keep Your Pet Safe
Dangerous Foods The following can be toxic to pets: chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, garlic, onion, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, bread dough, and sugar-free candy and gum containing the artificial sweetener xylitol.
Regular Foods Despite tradition, bones should never be given to pets. Even beef, ham, and other “regular” foods that are not considered toxic can cause illness in pets. If your pet is a moocher, keep a saucer of his regular treats on the table to offer when he asks. He probably won’t know the difference!
New Treats and Toys Even a pet-safe treat can cause stomach upset if it is new to your pet. Offer only one of these at a time (ideally, separated by a few days). If your pet becomes ill after eating a holiday treat, it will be easier to trace the source and discontinue it. Also, check new toys for sharp edges, pieces that can be chewed off, or other potential hazards.
Plants Hazardous plants include mistletoe, some evergreens (including some types of pine), and holly bushes and berries. Try to keep these plants away from pets, or at least supervise pets when dangerous plants are nearby.
Decorations Tinsel, tree ornaments, ribbons, string, and garlands are some items that can be dangerous if eaten by pets. Keep these items away from pets — especially when pets are unattended. Don’t forget to cover any electrical cords or keep them out of reach.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Monitor pets near fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, candles, and portable heaters. Also, don’t forget to check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are functioning properly. Space heaters, furnaces, and idling cars (in a garage) can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in pets and humans.
Christmas Trees Monitor your pets when they are around your holiday tree. Pets may eat the needles (even from artificial trees) or drink water from the base of the tree, which can be toxic (especially if there are preservatives in it). Keep electrical cords and decorative lights out of reach, too.

In many cases, if your pet has eaten or drunk something toxic, warning signs will include gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Other signs may include tiredness and lack of appetite, especially in cats that have eaten lilies. If your pet shows any of these signs, or if you think he or she has eaten something dangerous but is not showing any signs yet, please call your vet right away. Treating your pet as soon as possible is essential!

So enjoy your holidays, give your pet some very deserved love, and above all, be safe!

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4 Responses to “Holiday Tips from Our Vet”

  1. barbara Kennedy December 22, 2011 at 10:08 AM #

    Good Information nicely assembled. Thanks. Happy Holday!
    Barbara Kennedy

  2. Emily December 22, 2011 at 10:20 AM #

    Thanks for sharing this! Luckily, our dogs never try to eat decorations, but since we are heading to Daniel’s parent’s house for Christmas (they are not dog people), I have to be really careful to make sure they don’t try to give our pups toxic foods by accident!

  3. That Touch of Pit ... December 22, 2011 at 10:44 AM #

    My parents are the biggest pushovers when it comes to feeding people food to the dogs. All it takes is a quick flash of the “puppy dog eyes” and mom is in the fridge looking for the leftover turkey. I have to be so careful when I bring Lucy there since she has allergies! – Josh

  4. Kate @ Twenty-Six to Life December 23, 2011 at 8:07 AM #

    What great tips. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit, but it’s so important to remember that our dogs can’t always handle everything we do.

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