Holidays and Pet Safety

Everyone loves the holidays, including our companions. A few tips to keep them safe during this happy time.

1) The smell and taste of chocolate is enticing. But it can make your beloved companion ill. Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea and other reactions. Keep chocolate safely out of the way.

2) Guests coming and going means opportunities for pets to “escape” into the dangers of traffic. If you have pets that tend to break for the outdoors, secure them in a room or kennel during your entertaining. It will be safer and for some guests, even welcome.

3) Tinsel is often a decoration on Christmas trees, but if your pet decides it is fun to play with and swallows it, it can cause an intestinal blockage. Skip the tinsel and save the trip to the vet!

4) Poinsettias — Yes, we’ve all heard that the cheery red plant can poison pets, but it has been proved to be a myth. However, it can cause upset tummies. The Animal Poison Control Center managed 84 cases involving ingestions of poinsettias, but the most common result was an upset stomach. According to Dana Farbman, CVT, ASPCA Senior Manager of Professional Communications, “Ingestion of poinsettias typically only produces mild to moderate gastrointestinal irritation in pets, which may include drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.” Because of the plant’s low toxic potential, veterinary treatment isn’t usually necessary, Farbman reports, but in certain situations it may help to give your pet a few sips of water or milk to diminish stomach upset.