During the holiday season there are all kinds of foods and new things around the house that your pet may be very curious about. If you have the kind of pet that likes to sample all these new things you should keep the following in mind:
Chocolate is a definite no no. Chocolate contains theobromine which can be poisonous to dogs depending on the amount consumed. Typically, the darker the chocolate the more toxic it’s affect. Chocolate toxicity symptoms range from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and even death.
Plants can also become a problem over the holidays. Poinsettias for example, although they do have a very irritating component to them are not as toxic as many people think. If you pet gets into your poinsettia you can expect some stomach upset. Holly and Mistletoe however are the most toxic and if ingested by your pet require a visit to the vets. All cat owners should know that Christmas Lilies are extremely toxic to cats & ingesting only a tiny bit of a petal or leaf can quickly cause kidney failure.
Stagnant Water: The stagnant water at the base of the tree can cause vomiting and
diarrhea if ingested, due to the build up of bacteria. It’s recommended to use a covered tree water dish to keep your pet safe.
Tinsel: Tinsel is shiny and looks delicious, but if your pet ingests this it could cause serious digestive problems that may even require surgery.
Ornaments: Although all ornaments can be a problem the salt, flour & water ornaments that kids often make can be quite toxic. The amount of salt in just a few of these ornaments can cause a salt toxicity.
Just try to remember that the opportunity for your pet to get into toxic foods and dangerous objects increases over the holidays. Supervision is the key. If you are not able to supervise your pet, lock them in an area away from these new dangers. A barrier between your Christmas Tree and your pet could also be effective.
Watch for subtle behaviour changes from the obvious vomiting and diarrhea to restlessness and moderate lethargy.
If you suspect your pet has consumed something they shouldn’t, or they are showing signs of having done so, call immediately to have them assessed.
Check out our Recipes for safe alternatives to treat your pet.
Have a happy and safe holiday season.
The Chippawa Animal Hospital Staff