November through December is undoubtedly the most wonderful time of the year with decorations, home-made treats, gifts, and having loved ones near.  However, not all holiday items are safe for our furry companions.  Ingesting a holiday plant, drinking the Christmas-tree water, or trying a piece of holiday food can be toxic for a family pet during the season. Take some extra time to pet-proof your home this year in order to keep your best friend happy and safe all holiday season.
Not all plants are toxic; however, if you decide to include plants in your Christmas decorations it is best to make sure to place them in an area that your pet does not have access in order to maintain their safety. Poinsettias are one of the most popular plants of the season and while they are generally low in toxicity, they can still cause issues to pets if consumed. Ingestion may cause irritation and result in vomiting. Even non-toxic plants can still cause gastrointestinal issues if consumed in large enough quantities.
Having a tree or decorations in your home is not toxic to your pet, however, they can pose a danger.  Cats like to climb and it is important to make sure that both the tree and ornaments are secured to avoid any accidents. Additionally, for your pet’s safety, it is best to avoid placing any ornaments on the lower branches of the Christmas tree.
Cats love to play with shiny and stringy objects — especially the feel of ribbons and tinsel. However, if ingested, this can cause an intestinal blockage leading to emergency surgery. If you suspect that your dog or cat may have ingested a holiday decoration — contact and visit Cumberland Animal emergency veterinary hospital for an examination immediately.
If your pet is a chewer it is important to take extra caution during the holiday season especially because you will be using more electrical cords.  Make sure to turn off likes when you are not using them and not home and use electrical cord covers and cord organizers to keep cords out of sight best as possible.
Holiday company or parties can be stressful for your pet.  Also, it can be dangerous if they can run out of the house.  Do your best to keep your furry friends away from doors leading to the outside when having visitors come and go.  In addition, make sure to have a quiet space for them in the home — if you crate, make sure that is in a quiet area or have a quiet room so they can retreat to that room and space.
Include your pet in your planning for the holidays and make sure your home is free of hazards. Please do not hesitate to contact the Cumberland Animal Hospital. Preventive Care – It’s your job to keep your dog healthy and safe.  Cumberland Animal Hospital’s veterinarians in Fayetteville, NC are always available to assist you. Pet owners who think their dog or cat has ingested something they shouldn’t have, should immediately call 910-822-3337.
Photo by Jessica Lewis