Top 10 pet health tips for the holidays
(ARA) - Halloween, Thanksgiving,
Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Kwanzaa – no matter what
you’re celebrating, pet owners need to remember to keep their
pets safe and healthy for the holidays.
“Veterinarians often see an uptick in the number of problematic
calls during the holiday season,” explains Dr. Larry R. Corry,
AVMA president. “Whether it’s an exposure to chocolate or fatty
foods or pets upset due to unexpected guests or costumed
visitors late at night, the holidays can present problems for
pets. The AVMA urges all pet owners to include the health and
safety of their pets in any plans for the holidays.”
Here are the AVMA’s top 10 pet tips for holiday safety:
1. Be wary of holiday decorations; pets often consume them.
“The animal raids the Christmas tree, for example, and this
can be unhealthy for the pet and very upsetting for the pet
owners,” explains Corry. “If they consume enough tinsel or
other decorations, it can cause a blockage that requires
2. Flowers are another common holiday feature that can
result in an emergency visit. Poinsettias, Amaryllis and
mistletoe are on the list of common holiday plants that can
be dangerous and even poisonous to house pets who decide to
eat them, Corry says.
3. Just like people, some pets are better at dealing with
houseguests than others. If you know your pet has a problem
with visitors, work with your veterinarian for solutions.
For severe problems, your veterinarian may recommend
medications or even boarding the animal.
4. Don’t let your pet climb the Christmas tree. If the tree
falls over, your pet could be injured. Consider tying the
tree to the ceiling or a doorframe using fishing line.
5. Cover Christmas tree water to keep animals from drinking
it. The sap from live Christmas trees can make your pet
6. Many people believe that people food makes good treats
for their pets, but this isn’t the case. Many common
ingredients in a holiday feast – like onions, garlic,
chocolate and artificial sweeteners – are poisonous to pets.
And dogs that consume an excessive amount of fatty foods, by
cleaning a turkey carcass pulled from the trash, for
example, can develop a life-threatening condition called
7. Whether they are Halloween candies or Christmas
chocolate, keep sweets out of your pet’s reach, particularly
while you’re out. A pet that consumes chocolates while
you’re away at work, for example, might be too sick for your
veterinarian to save by the time you get home.
8. Unplug decorations while you’re not around. Cats and dogs
are often tempted to chew electrical cords.
9. Keep any gift that includes human food out of a pet’s
reach. With their sensitive sense of smell, dogs and cats
can find those wrapped treats and open them when you’re not
10. Candles are a common part of many holiday celebrations.
Make sure that you keep lit candles out of a pet’s reach,
because the animal could light themselves, or your home, on
The AVMA offers a great deal of information on its Web site,
www.avma.org, including a
free brochure on common household hazards and a free video
about common household poisons.
Courtesy of ARAcontent