December 10, 2021
Holiday Safety for Pets
For many people, the winter holidays are a time for family and friends. But when it comes to your furry companion's health care needs, you may need to pay some extra attention! This blog answers commonly asked questions to help ensure your pets are safe all holiday season long.
Are holiday plants like mistletoe and holly poisonous for cats and dogs?
If ingested, holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly and poinsettias can be toxic to pets. The most commonly seen effect is upset stomach and intestines causing vomiting and diarrhea, but it should be noted that more serious side effects can occur.
Are antifreeze and rock salt harmful to pets?
Both antifreeze and rock salt can be harmful to pets as they result in the formation of crystals in the kidneys, leading to acute renal failure if ingested. Rock salt can cause discomfort and local irritation of paws from pets walking on it (usually from sidewalks). Moreover, it can lead to upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea if swallowed in a large enough quantity; this is caused when pets clean off their paws.
Are Christmas trees poisonous to pets?
Evergreen trees can be toxic if the needles and bark are eaten. Most common side effects are mild with GI upset and diarrhea. However, depending on the species of pine tree and the amount eaten, more serious side effects can occur. White pine is probably the most commonly kept toxic tree species for pets around the holidays.
Can dogs and cats eat turkey or baked ham scraps?
Some pets are better able to handle table scraps than others, but it is not recommended to feed your pet table scraps of any variety. Around the holidays, we tend to prepare rich dishes with a large number of glazes and/or spices which very often lead to GI upset in our pets when eaten. Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common side effects of overindulgence, and more serious symptoms from pets eating leftovers during the holidays include pancreatitis.
What are some other holiday household dangers that could harm pets?
The most significant holiday dangers around the house for pets tend to involve pets sampling and/or eating something they shouldn’t ingest. Some dangers that one might not immediately think about include pets eating ornaments; this will result in intestinal blockages. Cats are notorious for eating tinsel which easily tangles in their intestines, creating blockages and often cutting the intestinal on its sharp edges; this leads to the leakage of intestinal contents into the abdomen which is most often fatal.