It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is already upon us. This can be a fun time of year for pets. Our animal companions enjoy getting gifts and extra treats as much as we do! However, there are also many seasonal hazards for pet owners to be aware of. As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I list some of the main ones below.
Food is a huge concern here. While some unsafe foods, such as garlic, may just cause a tummy ache, others, such as grapes and raisins, can lead to organ damage. The list of unsafe foods will depend on what type of pet you have, so ask your veterinarian for more information. That said, some common offenders include chocolate, avocado, caffeine, alcohol, raw dough, meat on the bone, and junk food.
Keep your pet’s safety in mind as you decorate. Anything small or sharp is unsafe. That list includes things like ornaments, tinsel, ornament hooks, and manger pieces. Lights are also unsafe: pets can get seriously hurt if they chew on a live wire! Candles are also a serious concern, as is anything with ribbon or string.
Pets tend to be creatures of habit. Some get very upset by changes to their routines or environments. Guests, travel, being boarded, decorations, and schedule changes can all rattle your furry pal. Pay extra attention to your animal companion!
Many popular seasonal plants, such as lily, poinsettia, holly, ivy, and mistletoe, are toxic to pets. You’ll also need to take precautions if you get a real tree. The needles are choking hazards, and can cause dangerous blockages or perforations if swallowed. The water may also be unsafe, as it could be tainted by leached chemicals, such as fertilizer and pesticide.
Your four-legged buddy may have a fur coat on, but they aren’t immune to the effects of the cold. Make sure your pet always has a warm, comfy spot to curl up in. Dogs with thin fur will need sweaters or jackets for walks on frigid days.
Keep in mind that some hazards vary from pet to pet. For instance, cold temperatures are a huge concern for reptiles, while a Christmas tree can be extremely dangerous for a bird. Ask your veterinarian for specific advice.
As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I’m happy to provide excellent care. Contact me anytime!