Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness

While the holidays certainly look a bit different this year, we want to ensure all celebrations are fun and safe for four-legged friends. Here are a few tips:

Be Careful with Festive Foods
Food and drinks are a highlight of the holiday season, but they can pose dangers to your pet.

  • Avoid feeding your pet anything they are not used to eating. Otherwise they could end up with an upset stomach.
  • Fatty and spicy foods, chocolate, and other sweets, which can cause severe stomach issues, should be off-limits to pets.
  • Don’t give turkey, chicken, or ham bones to your pet. Bones can easily break and splinter, causing mouth injuries and intestinal blockage.
  • Move cocktails out of your pet’s reach. Even though the impact of alcohol is often mild, call your veterinarian if your pet gets a hold of an alcoholic beverage. Be on the lookout for warning signs such as lethargy, drooling, vomiting, or collapse.

Keep Seasonal Plants and Decorations Out of Reach
Ingesting any plant or decoration has the potential to cause vomiting, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal irritation. But some can be toxic to pets, so it is important to keep pets away from all decorations.

  • Plants such as mistletoe, rosemary, and holly berries can result in severe gastrointestinal upset if eaten.
  • Christmas trees and other festive decorations can be dangerous to pets. If your pet chews on the lights or cords, they could be electrocuted. If ingested, decorations and tinsel could cause gastrointestinal problems or obstruction. Glass ornaments could pose an additional danger if your pet knocks them off the tree and the ornaments shatter.
  • Live Christmas trees come with even more concerns. The oils from trees and tree needles can cause gastrointestinal trouble, and if pets eat the needles, those needles could puncture their intestinal lining. But the most dangerous part of the live tree is the water in the tree’s base. The pine sap, preservatives, and fire retardant in the water are harmful to dogs and cats.

Travel Safely and Secure Your Pet
If your holiday plans include driving, whether across the country or just across town to visit the dog park, your pet should be properly secured in the vehicle at all times. If there were to be an accident and your pet isn’t secure, they could suffer severe or life-threatening injuries.

  • Small pets should be placed in a pet carrier during car rides, and the carrier needs to be securely fastened.
  • Dogs should use a pet travel safety harness that attaches to your car’s seat belt.
  • Make sure your pet is always wearing their collar and identification tags, and if your pet is microchipped, verify that your contact information is current with the microchip company before you leave.

If your pet experiences an injury, change in behavior or gets ahold of something they shouldn’t, call us at 314-951-1534. For a list of after-hours and emergency veterinary clinics, click here.

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.