The holiday season is usually a fun, joyous time of year. While we’re busy decorating, shopping, and spending time with family and friends, our pets safety may sometimes go unnoticed. The Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains and Nanuet, NY, can help you with the following holiday pet safety tips. And although we hope your holidays DON’T include any medical emergencies, if your cat or dog is need of emergency care, we’re open and here for you nights, weekends and holidays.
Real Christmas Trees
Did you opt for the real Christmas tree this year instead of an artificial one? If so, keep in mind that the pine needles of real Christmas trees are considered mildly toxic to pets if ingested and can also puncture the intestines. Always keep the floor area around your tree cleaned by checking it a few times a day, or simply make sure your pet doesn’t have access to it.
If you have a cat or other curious pets that may be drawn to the stringy, sparkly nature of tinsel and other similar items, it’s best to hang these decorations high on the tree or to not use them at all. Ingesting tinsel and other stringy items can result in an intestinal blockage and can often require surgery.
Christmas time is a popular time of year for chocolate, so if you’ll be buying candy or baking cookies or brownies, remember that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Raisins, macadamia nuts, and foods that include the sugar substitute xylitol are also toxic. Other potentially dangerous foods are those that are high in fat, such as sausage and poultry skin. Although not toxic, ingesting a large amount of fatty foods can result in pancreatitis and/or weight gain.
Whether they’re on your tree or framing your windows, Christmas lights can be a tangle hazard to pets that paw at them and knock them down. Another potential hazard is the obvious burn or shock risk if your pet chews on the wires. If you know your pet is the curious type, keep the Christmas lights high and out of their reach or consider some pet-friendly alternatives instead, such fiber-optic lights.
We know seasonal plants can make a home more festive for the holidays, but did you know there are some that are toxic to dogs and cats? Poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe are just a few of the ones on the list. So either keep these plants away from your pet or go with the artificial versions instead.
If you have any questions about these cat and dog holiday safety tips, or if your pet is in need of emergency care, give us a call in White Plains (914) 949-8779 or in Nanuet at (845) 536-5645.