You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Pout!

So what do you need to worry about this Holiday season? What could possibly tarnish the festivities and joys of this momentous time of year? Nothing, right? Wrong. At the risk of being branded “Dr. Scrooge”, I want to warn you about a few common things to watch out for.

This is a time of year when there is a lot of new “stuff” in the house! A wiggly tree, sparkly bright bulbs, new stringy light thingamabobs, decorative plants to taste, gifts to chew up and yummy foods to steal! Little Fido and fluffy KitKat, being the naturally curious beings that they are, may just want to investigate! If there is something new in the house, you can be sure that they will be right on it!

So what do you need to be aware of to keep your little furry loved ones safe and sound this season? Well, here’s a good, short list to start with:

  • Plants: Several seasonal holiday plants, mainly: poinsettia, lilies, mistletoe, holly and daffodils can cause serious and deadly consequences if pets are allowed to ingest them. Put these plants up, and better yet, don’t even bring them into the house! And finally, don’t forget the danger that your Christmas tree could cause! Ingestion of parts of the tree can cause GI irritation, vomiting, GI obstruction and even GI puncture from ingesting the sharp needles. Here's a useful link should you suspect that your pet got into something: click this link to be directed to the ASPCA website and POISON CONTROL LINE .

  • Presents and Decorations: Be aware that wrapping paper and ribbons, if ingested, can become GI obstructions. And be sure that the electrical wires are up and away….puppies and kittens just believe that stuff is chewing string! There is nothing worse for you and your pet than to have to rush to your vets office for surgery to remove teddy bear stuffing or tangled up ribbon from your pet's GI tract the day after Christmas!

  • Rich foods: Your food, and particularly holiday food, is very, very rich. GI upset, vomiting, diarrhea and even pancreatitis are commonly seen during this time of year. And the smaller the pet, generally the greater the risk (although that is not always the case)! Everyone wants the family pet to celebrate Christmas too. So why don’t you prepare them their own special “pet-safe” holiday meal? Just google “holiday recipes for your pets” and I guarantee you there are a plethora of sites out there that want to share with you their special pet recipes!

This list is by no means all-inclusive. But they are the most common holiday problems that I saw during my 20+ years in private practice. So just by ensuring that your pet is safe from these common holiday hazards, you will be waaaay more likely to have a Scrooge-free and veterinary-free Holiday season!

To all our friends out there, both furry and non-furry, stay safe and


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