Hazardous Holiday Foods
The holidays can be great fun, and we hope you have a great time with family and friends. Getting sick or injured over the holidays can really put a damper on the festivities, though, whether it is you or your pet. There are a number of problems that might happen at any time of year, but tend to occur more commonly around the winter holidays, and it pays to be on special alert.
Common holiday foods potentially toxic to pets:
Other holiday hazards
Food is not the only increased hazard at holiday time! There are other serious dangers hiding in your home, and you need to be on guard.
Kittens, cats and puppies can have a tendency to chew on electrical wiring, and this can be very bad news for them, and for their families. And we seem to have more electrical cords on the floor at holiday time than any other time (and there is something about the taste and smell of the plastic on these cords, being stored with other Christmas items in the attic all year). Hiding the wires is not only more attractive, but safer, too…
Chewing through a live electrical wire frequently results in burns to the lips, tongue, and palate, and can cause tooth loss. More importantly, the electrical current can cause a chain reaction in the lungs, ending in a large amount of water in the lungs. This is pulmonary edema, similar to what happens with severe heart disease, and this can be fatal.
If you find your pet being electrocuted, don’t touch it! Your primary goal is to shut off the electrical current, generally by unplugging the wire. Take extra care to not get shocked yourself. And then, please, bring your pet straight in, even if they appear to be fine.
But you won’t always find your kitten attached to an electrical cord, actively being shocked. Most of the time, they bite through the cord, receive the nasty shock, and are able to release the cord and get away.
Signs your pet may have had an encounter with an electric cord include drooling, not willing to eat or drink, hiding, and finding urine or feces near an electrical cord. Again, if you see any of these signs, please bring your pet straight in and let us have a look. Much better to be safe than sorry!
Electrical cords are indeed very dangerous, not only from an electrocution standpoint, but as a fire hazard.
There are a lot of other fire hazards around the holidays, and some of them might even involve your furry children! Cats inadvertently knock things over on counters, and those things might include lighted candles, or other objects that come in contact with those flames. Fortunately, cats themselves rarely seem to catch fire, but it’s still bad news when the whole house is ablaze!
If you have a large dog, you don’t need me to tell you about the power contained in that tail, or how easily candles or other objects might be knocked from a low table. And that’s not even mentioning what happens when a couple of roughhousing dogs run into the furniture.
Garland and tinsel look like string, and many cats and kittens have a hard time resisting the temptation. Eating garland can cause major problems in the intestinal tract, frequently requiring emergency surgery.
And let’s not forget about the family! Having large numbers of family and friends visiting might sound ideal to you, but this can be a real source of stress for pets. If your pets get anxious when large numbers of people ring the bell, or fill the dining room (and living room, and kitchen…), do them a favor and keep them confined to the back of the house. Maybe disconnect the doorbell…
Keeping the possible hazards of the holidays in mind when you plan your holiday makes it much safer for you and your pets, and much more fun than spending time at the ER…
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
We hope that all of our clients & patients and our friends & family (this includes our employees!) have a wonderful holiday season, filled with family, love and laughter (with no trips to the ER, human or pet!)
If you plan to board your pets with us for the holidays, please call NOW, to make sure we can fit you in. This is one of our busiest times, and we do tend to fill up quickly and early. Space is already limited…
I think you’ll agree, our employees do their best to provide you with great service, and take excellent care of your pets. They’ve earned a little time with their families, too, so we’re giving it to them. Our holiday hours are: