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Holiday Safety for the Furry Family Members
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Joyous Eid, Festive Diwali, Wondrous Yule, Season’s Greetings, and Happy New Year!
It’s that time of year once again, when no matter your religious or ethnic background, you’re celebrating this joyous holiday season with friends and family. Those of us here at Claiborne Hill want to make sure that you have all the knowledge necessary to keep Fluffy and Fido safe during this festive season. With that in mind, we present Part One (of Two) of our Pet Holiday Safety information.
- PLANTS – Festive and decorative plants are a significant part of many family’s preparations for the holidays, however special care should be taken with any holiday decoration containing Holly or Mistletoe as these plants are particularly poisonous to pets (and small children as well). The lovely poinsettia is not toxic to our furry friends, however the sticky sap and leaves can cause gastritis and diarrhea. Pine needles, from Christmas trees or other holiday greenery are not toxic, but their sharp needles can lead to intestinal punctures if they are swallowed. Amaryllis bulbs will cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested, and lilies are highly toxic to the kidneys. Take care to keep plants out of the reach of curious pets.
- CHRISTMAS TREES – It is nearly impossible to keep curious pets completely away from the family Christmas tree. Bouncy dogs, wagging tails, and cats who are intrigued by this bit of ‘outside’ brought indoors can all be a danger to the tree. If you are unable to place your tree in a location inaccessible to pets, take care that you have secured it in such a way that it cannot be knocked over. Additives to Christmas tree water can also be dangerous, please do not add chemicals, sugar, or aspirin to tree water if there is any possibility your pet can drink from the base.
- DECORATIONS – By all means use your beautiful (and fragile) glass ornaments to decorate. Just remember to keep them hung high enough that curious dogs cannot remove them from the branches, or break them with a happily wagging tail. Tinsel and ribbon are also potential hazards for pets, as they can cause significant damage to fragile intestines if they are swallowed.
- HOLIDAY PARTIES – Many of us will be having friends and family over to our homes for holiday celebrations. This will provide some pets with an opportunity to slip out of the house or yard and become lost. Be sure that all pets in the household are wearing a collar/harness and tags with up to date information, in the unlikely event that Rover decides to go a-roving. Also remember that for most cats, and high strung dogs, having strangers in the house is a terribly frightening experience. If your pet is not a social butterfly, please provide them with a safe, quiet space (a guest room, laundry room, etc.) where they can be safely contained with a favorite toy, away from the noise of party guests or unfamiliar children.
Look for the second installment of our Holiday Pet Safety information tomorrow.
We would like to wish all of our clients (and patients) a Joyous Holiday Season, no matter which you happen to celebrate!