‘Tis the season for presents, candy, and holiday cheer! The Holiday season is an exciting time of the year; however, it can bode dangerous for your pet if you aren’t considering them in your shopping and decorating.  If your cat or dog is vomiting, having a seizure, passes bloody diarrhea, or shows abdominal discomfort, it’s time to call your veterinarian.

Hillside Animal Hospital’s pet holiday safety tip list includes:

Skip the Tinsel
If you have a cat, that fun shiny tinsel decorating your tree may turn into your worst nightmare. If your curious kitty ingests tinsel, it can cause severe damage to their intestinal tract. Signs to watch out for include pawing at the mouth, vomiting, inappetence, and lethargy.
Wires, Ornaments, and Candles; oh my!
Keep wires, batteries, ornaments and candles out of paw’s reach. Chewing on wires or batteries can cause severe burns to the mouth and esophagus and potential lethal electrocution. Breakable ornaments can damage the mouth and digestive tract, and candles can cause burns to the pet or a fire if tipped over.
Not So Sweet Treats
By now you probably know not to give your dog chocolate, but did you know that most candies contain the sweetener xylitol, which can lead to liver failure? Chocolate and caffeinated sweets can also cause toxicity which can lead to seizures or death. Keeping candies, cookies, and desserts out of reach is one of the best ways to avoid a trip to the vet. Having lids on your garbage cans or keeping them in a separate room from pets can also prevent any dangerous ingestion.
Leave the Leftovers
Fatty meats, spicy foods, bones, or anything that isn’t good for your body isn’t good for your pet’s body, either. Fatty meat scraps can cause pancreatitis leading to abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. If you want to treat your pet this holiday season, find a snack that is pet oriented and healthy for them. Encourage guests and other family members not to feed pets table scraps either.
Boozy Blunders
If you’re hosting this holiday season, be sure that adult holiday beverages are kept up high, away from pets. Consuming alcohol can cause weakness, drooling, vomiting, elevated heart rate, and even coma. Alcohol toxicity can also happen from some surprising foods, such as unbaked bread containing yeast or rum-soaked cakes. For Fido’s sake, keep it somewhere safe.

So, what can your pet enjoy this holiday season? Pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling), green beans, cooked sweet potatoes (without any added spices or ingredients), baked potatoes, and apples are all nutritious and safe choices for your pet to enjoy. Consult with your Hillside veterinarian to see if any of these options would be good for your pet. And as always, your pet will thank you for any extra holiday snuggles and play time.

Have a safe and fun holiday season!

By:  Daphne Graf, Client Service Representative