Pets will investigate new items by sniffing, tossing, chasing and finally by having a taste. Holiday season adornments are attractive to all creatures. The ornaments, foods, gifts, wrapping, ribbons, lights and plants are all curiosities for pets. A few precautions will help you avoid the holiday crowds at our hospital.
- Several decorative plants are poisonous.
- Mistletoe and holly can cause stomach upset with vomiting and diarrhea. The berries of these plants are attractive, easily swallowed, and potentially fatal if consumed.
- Poinsettias, like the leaves of most any plant, can also cause stomach upset.
- Christmas Trees should be secured so that pets cannot pull them over. Omit preservative from the tree stand water. Don’t spray snow on the tree unless it is labeled for pet consumption.
- Chocolate is poisonous to cats, dogs and birds.
- Bones can get stuck in the mouth or perforate the intestinal tract.
- Scraps from holiday meals can cause gastrointestinal upset and even predispose pets to life-threatening pancreatitis.
ORNAMENTS AND TOYS
- Ribbons, icicles and strings can damage the intestines and are potentially fatal if consumed.
- Holiday lights and electrical wires can cause shock or burns when chewed on.
- Cats enjoy lightweight toys they can bat around. Be sure they are at least 1 inch in diameter without bells, buttons, strings, yarn or squeaky parts that can be detatched and swallowed.
- Dogs enjoy balls, chew toys and things they can carry around. Beware that some dogs treat a stuffed toy like a friend while others tear them apart. Stuffing from stuffed toys can cause intestinal blockage and irritation. Small balls can cause choking problems along with intestinal blockage.
If your pet gets sick, call us before giving any medications. Many over the counter drugs, such as Tylenol, are toxic to animals.