We know everyone is busy this time of year.
We have compiled a handy list of the most common holiday hazards for Pets!
Everybody loves the holidays. From the family gatherings and eggnog to the crackling fire and one-piece pygamas, it’s hard to imagine the holiday season as anything but rosey and nice. Unfortunately, this warm and fuzzy celebration can easily become a strange array of confusing and potentially hazardous events for one part of our family in particular. No, we aren’t talking about grandpa- we’re talking about our pets! If you’re interested in keeping your mischievous pets problem-free this season (and also keeping a hefty vet bill at bay), then you’re in the right place. Here are RYAH’s top holiday hazards for pets.
1. Chocolate You’re not the only one who loves chocolate – it’s likely that your dog loves it too. The problem is that chocolate is highly toxic to dogs because it’s rich in theobromine and methylxanthines. Much like caffeine, it causes uncontrollable excitation of the nervous system. To make matters worse, darker chocolate means more methyxanthine. Not good news for all you dark chocolate lovers out there!
2. High Fat Foods That cheese ball on the coffee table is often right at eye level for our furry friends, and high fat foods like cheese and meat can often spell disaster for our pets with more sensitive stomachs. Pancreatitis is a life-threatening disorder caused by over-activity of digestive enzymes within the pancreas. It is triggered by a high fat meal such as a cheese ball, a few potato chips, or a morsel of grandpa’s Christmas ham.
TIP: Think twice before giving your pet a taste of what you’re having for dinner and avoid leaving food (and table scraps) out unattended
3. Sugar Free Sweets Xylitol, the artificial sweetener found in many sugar free candies and baked goods, is extremely toxic to your dog. It causes a life threatening drop in blood sugar which often results in unconsciousness/ coma and can also cause liver failure. Not so sweet after all!
1. Tinsel, Trinkets, Bows, and Boughs Christmas ornaments come in a vast array of shapes, sizes, colours, etc. These items are often very intriguing for our pets and the temptation to swallow them is often too great to bear. Cats have an uncanny obsession with string-like objects like tinsel and bows, and when swallowed they can cause the intestinal tract to bunch up and block. This blockage is a life-threatening condition which is treatable only with invasive emergency surgery. Same goes for your dog too!
2. Electrical Cords Every year cats present to the clinic with symptoms consistent with electrocution of the face and mouth – that’s because these cats will often chew on electrical wires from Christmas lights and other electronic devices.
TIP: If you know your cat likes to do this, be sure to minimize the number of live electronics in your living area when left unattended.
Unfortunately for all you entertainers out there, a very real risk for many pets is the introduction of guests into your home. Not only does this create great anxiety among some pets, it also introduces an opportunity for animals to escape, or to be exposed to things they are not normally exposed to.
TIP: Advise guests not to offer your pets table scraps, and request that they keep all personal belongings (ie gifts, luggage, prescription medications) behind closed doors.
Above all else, the best piece of advice we can give you is this: know your own pet. Understand and identify the areas of greatest risk to your pet and take measures to prevent accidents from happening.
If you have questions regarding this information or are suspicious that your pet may have succumb to one of these hazards please contact RYAH immediately at 416-231-9293.
We wish you and your pets a warm, safe, and enjoyable holiday season from all the staff at Royal York Animal Hospital .
The Royal York Veterinary Medical Team