Hi everyone! It’s Bella the clinic cat here again. I hope everyone is enjoying this cool weather and getting ready for the holidays. I know the people here at the clinic are decorating and it makes for some fun play time for me! All the excitement that comes at this time of year can lead to some oversights, though. Let me tell you some tips to keep your pet safe during the holidays.
When it comes to decorating, less can be more when you have curious pets. Some holiday plants can be quite dangerous if ingested. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and many types of lilies can cause vomiting and diarrhea and, in severe cases, organ failure and death. You can always ask the vet if you have specific questions, and remember there are artificial flowers. Christmas trees pose some more problems. Although they are not poisonous, if the needles from real or artificial trees are ingested, they can cause pain and discomfort as they pass through the intestines.
I also recommend keeping tinsel or “angel hair” away from your furry friends. Cats like me find tinsel very attractive to play with, but we have a bad habit of eating it. This can lead to intestinal blockages, and usually surgery to remedy the problem. Try to keep glass ornaments and lights towards the top of your tree. Pets can knock ornaments off and the glass can cut our paws and mouths if we try and play with them. Wires from the lights seem like a fun thing to play with for some animals, but we can easily become entangled. If chewed on, the wires can burn the mouth of your pet or cause electrocution.
I know passing along food to your furry friends seems like a good way to get them involved in the festivities, but table food is rarely a good idea for pets. Rich, fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis, which can require hospitalization. Items made with chocolate cause problems ranging from mild stomach upset to seizures or death. Alcohol is another no-no. Us animals don’t know any better and will try to “share” your beverage with you, but pets can die after a single bout of alcohol consumption. Be sure to put your used cooking items like aluminum foil and wrappers in the trash, in an area your pet doesn’t have access to. All those yummy smells can make us want to investigate, so this way you won’t end up with a mess and we won’t end up with digestive discomfort or blockages.
The last thing I want to talk about is presents. I love getting gifts! Be sure to examine toys to make sure that they don’t have small parts that could be chewed off. Toys with rattles or squeakers inside can easily be torn apart and those noisy bits can be ingested, possibly leading to intestinal obstructions. Please supervise us with those!
Following these tips will help you have a safe and pet friendly holiday season. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and I will see you in the new year!