The last thing you want to do during the holiday season is to spend time at the veterinarian's office -- emergency vets. Not only are they expensive due to the after hours, this is a time when when family is important and the pets can be prone to accidents. Be aware of some of the common emergencies you can face with your pets and try to avoid them for a happy, healthy holiday.
The holidays as hectic as they can be are supposed to be fun for the whole family, including the precious pets. In the midst of the stresses, your pet can get into some dangerous situations. The last thing you want during the holiday festivities is to spend time at the veterinarian’s office, especially when it is something so simple that you could have avoided. Some of the common emergencies that arise during the holiday season are –
• A number one concern is stomach disorders due to your pooch getting into inappropriate foods during the holiday season. With all the guests, crowds and mass meals during this time, it is easy to forget leaving foods hanging around that your pets should not consume. Trash cans are always a prime source as well as Aunt Martha, Cousin Joey or other friends and family that sneak a piece of food and/or bone to the dog. Monitor any and all foods from the pets, keep the trash closed tightly and be sure to tell all guests that any table foods can be harmful to your pets and is not allowed.
• As stated in previous articles I have written, be cautious when it comes to ornaments. Pets may think of them as a play thing and if the ornament is fragile in any way, your pet may get injured, whether they consume part of the ornament or get cut in some way. Keep fragile ornaments well out of reach of your curious playful pets.
• Ornament hooks can get caught on your pet’s ears or tails and, be worse swallowed. Try using other safer methods to hang ornaments such as ribbon or twine.
• Again, if you do have very playful pets, be sure to secure your tree, whether it is real or artificial, so it does not get knocked down. That can be disastrous on so many levels, injuring your pets from the fallen tree as well as those fragile ornaments atop the tree. Remember that the needles of the tree are harmful if swallowed.
• Try to keep the stand of the real tree covered with a tree skirt so that your thirsty pet does not try to drink the water from the tree. If you cannot seem to keep the pet out of there, do not put any preservatives in the water that can be toxic.
• Be cautious with such things as fallen mini light bulbs, tinsel, string, ribbons and bows. Pets find anything unusual to be fascinating and the only way they know how to check it out is to put it in their mouths. If these types of things are swallowed, it can compromise your pet’s intestines.
• Taking preventative measures with candles is something of concern, not only for the pets but all those within the household. There are numerous house fires each year due to dried out unwatered real trees as well as those forgotten candles. When it comes to the pets, they can be amused with the flickering flame and knock the candle over trying to check it out. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
• Many households like to use the liquid potpourri during the holidays and, needless to say, if your pet gets too inquisitive and licks it, that can cause your pet some severe burns of the mouth, gums, tongue and esophagus. Place any potpourri out of reach and never leave unattended.
• Some very curious puppies and kitties like to chew on cords and it is advisable to keep cords out of the sight and reach of the pets. Tie up the excess cords, cover them with rugs and/or wrap them up out of the way.
• Lastly but surely not least, many of the festive Christmas plants are very toxic to the curious pet in the home. Ingesting such plants as the Poinsettia, Jerusalem plant, mistletoe, holly, amaryllis, among others can cause great discomfort, irritation, vomiting and diarrhea. Monitor your pets around any plants within the home.
It does seem like a lot to be concerned with when it comes to our pets. In most cases your pup is just like a toddler in the home and if you care for the well-being of that animal, you must do whatever is necessary to provide a safe environment. Have a happy and safe holiday with all those you love, including your precious pet family members.