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Keeping Pets Safe During the Holidays

December 15, 2015
It certainly is fun to include your furry friends in the holiday festivities; we’re sure your pet is as excited as any human member of your family! Make sure your animal companion stays safe from harm this holiday season—beware of these hazards as outlined by your Savannah, GA vet at Westside Animal Hospital.

Tree Ornaments, Tinsel, Lights

Many pets see tree lights, ornaments, and shiny tinsel as fun playthings. Unfortunately, these objects present a choking hazard and can also cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed. It’s also possible that pets could pull over the entire tree while attempting to get at decorations. To be safe, restrict your pet’s access to your holiday tree.

The Tree Base

It’s also important not to let your pet get under your holiday tree; the base that supports it is filled with stagnant water, and it’s a breeding ground for bacteria and other contaminants. You also don’t want your pet ingesting any sharp pine needles.

Seasonal Plants

Poinsettias tend to get a bad rap this time of year; they’re not necessarily poisonous to pets. However, they do secrete a milky sap substance that can cause irritation in the mouth and stomach. Keep your pet from nibbling on them just to be safe. Also beware of mistletoe, as this common holiday plant can prove toxic to both dogs and cats.

Chocolate, Candy, Pastries

Chocolate, candies, and pastry treats abound this time of year. Remember that pets shouldn’t partake in any of them. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that pets should never have. Candies and some baked goods are sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and worse in our animal friends.

Fatty Table Scraps

Everyone at your holiday dinner table should be aware of the protocol regarding table scraps: keep them to an absolute minimum. Too much of any foreign substance in a pet’s diet can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, an influx of too much fat at once can lead to a dangerous case of acute pancreatitis. Feed your pet their own food instead of fatty scraps.

Alcoholic Beverages

Do your holiday celebrations include alcohol? Keep a close eye on all beer, liquor, wine, and champagne, as alcohol can poison pets even in very small amounts. Never let your pet imbibe! Call Westside Animal Hospital in Savannah, GA for more holiday safety tips for your animal companion.

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