Holiday Hazards

Here’s a quick review of the most common year-end holiday hazards for your pet:

  • Bones:  Small turkey and ham bones can lodge in the throat, stomach and intestinal tract.  In addition, fats, gravies and poultry skin can cause severe gastrointestinal problems. These problems include pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Holiday Plants:  Holly, mistletoe, poinsettia and other popular holiday plants can be toxic if eaten.
  • Electrical Cords:  Holiday lights mean more electrical cord for kittens and puppies to chew.  Make sure all electrical cords are in good condition and out of reach.
  • Christmas Trees:  Poorly secured trees can fall on rambunctious pets.
  • Pine Needles:  Ingested pine needles can puncture an animal’s intestines.
  • Christmas Tree Water:  Many of the additives used to keep Christmas trees fresh can be toxic if consumed.
  • Sweets:  Holiday candy — particularly pure chocolate, which contains theobromine — can be hazardous or even fatal to pets.
  • Alcohol:  Unattended alcoholic beverages can be extremely dangerous if consumed by cats and dogs.
  • Ornaments:  Sharp or breakable ornaments should be kept well out of reach of curious paws and jaws.
  • Tinsel, Yarn and Ribbon:  Linear foreign bodies can become stuck in an animal’s intestinal tract, causing a blockage or perforating the intestinal wall.

 All of the staff at Four Paws Animal Hospital & Wellness Center wish you and your pets a safe and happy holiday season.

Written by Dr. Kathy Kallay

(C) 2001, K. M. Kallay