Holiday Dangers for Pets

The holidays can be a very busy and chaotic time for families, and that’s why it’s so easy to let your guard down when it comes to preventing toxic exposure to your pet. Everyday items that we may not think twice about can become lethal to our pets. We have created a list of holiday-related items such as decorations, plants, and food items that we recommend keeping away from pets.

•Lilies – Levels of toxicity for lilies are moderate to severe for cats, even small ingestions such as 1-2 petals or leaves may result in severe, acute kidney failure. Common signs to watch for are lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and increased or decreased urination.

•Holly and Mistletoe – These are toxic to both dogs and cats and have a level toxicity of mild to moderate. Common signs to watch for are lip-smacking, drooling, head shaking, vomiting and diarrhea. To be safe we suggest keeping these plants out of reach for your dogs and cat this holiday season.

•Chocolate – The chemical theobromine found in chocolate and cocoa is highly toxic to dogs and cats – the less sweet and the darker the chocolate the more toxic it is. Common signs to watch for include hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rate, seizures, and collapse.

•Tinsel and decorations – While ornaments and tinsel are not going to be poisonous, they can cause potentially life-threatening damage if swallowed. Glass ornaments and tinsel that shine and shimmer are often an enticing toy for your pet. Depending on what your pet ingests the reactions can be different.

•Alcohol – While alcohol is around year-round it tends to be out more during the holidays. Now most people know not to give alcohol to pets, alcohol poisoning is more common than you may think as it can be found in food or unbaked dough that contains yeast. Common signs to watch for are drooling, vomiting or attempting to vomit, weakness, distended stomach, and elevated heart rate.

When it comes to your pets and the holidays the best thing you can do is educate yourself and your family to make your home pet-proof! If you think your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t have, give us a call immediately or contact an emergency clinic.

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