With the holidays upon us, there are some things to keep in mind regarding your pet’s safety. Even though lights, greenery, seasonal plants and Christmas trees can all make the holiday seasons festive, they can also pose a dangerous threat to our beloved pets.

The holiday seasons bring commotion and excitement associated with travel plans, shopping, decorating and other seasonal preparations. During these busy times, some pets may be exposed to hazards that are less commonly found during the other times of the year.

When decorating your home, be cautious of things like tinsel and ribbon, which can cause intestinal blockages if ingested by your pet/s. Electric lights can cause electrical shock if chewed on, candles and even flowers and festive plants can be hazardous to your pets health, such as holly, mistletoe and poinsettias.

If your holiday plans include traveling, with or without your pet, here are some precautions you can take to ensure your pets safety. When traveling with your furry friends remember to never leave pets unattended in vehicles in any kind of weather, as hot and cold temperatures can pose a threat to your pets well being. Your pet should also be safely restrained while riding in a vehicle, either by placing your pet into a carrier or by using some form of pet seat belt.When you are traveling, remember to always keep a copy of your pets medical records along with any food and medications your pet requires. Making sure your pet is micro-chipped is also a great precaution to take in the event that your pet becomes lost. If your plans include travel without your beloved pets boarding them at a facility while you are gone is a great option. Remember to talk to your veterinarian about how to best protect your pet from canine influenza and other contagious diseases.

One of the biggest problems that the holiday seasons bring for your pets; food. Sweets, candies, chocolate, turkey, ham, and bones are all big no no’s. Sharing your food with your pet/s can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), and gastrointestinal blockages can all result from sharing food with your pets. Take proper precautions and be sure to keep all pets away from the table, unattended plates of food, and secure all lids on garbage cans.

A cute kitten or a cuddly puppy may seem to be the perfect gift but unfortunately, animal shelters tend to “explode” after the holiday seasons with these “surprise gifts.” Remember, owning a pet is a long-term commitment not everyone can make.

Happy Holidays from Dr. Callison and the Staff at Paw Prints Veterinary Hospital!


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