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How to Keep Your Pet Safe Over the Holidays

The holidays are in full swing! Will your furry companion stay safe this year? Here, your Cameron Park, CA vet tells you about a few ways to keep your pet safe from harm over the holidays.

Decoration Dangers

To your pet, shiny and sparkling tinsel probably looks like something that would be oodles of fun to play with. Unfortunately, tinsel can cause intestinal obstruction and other serious problems if swallowed. The same goes for tree ornaments; these can break into sharp pieces when chewed, potentially causing lacerations. For safety, don’t let your pet play around your holiday tree.

Also beware of your tree’s anchor or base (if you decorate with a real tree). It contains stagnant water that may harbor harmful bacteria and sharp pine needles; pets should never drink from it.

Toxic Food Troubles

What are the holidays without great food? Keep in mind, though, that much of that delicious food on your holiday table isn’t safe for pets to consume. Toxic foods include grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chives, chocolate, candy, gum, certain types of nuts, and caffeine. Fatty table scraps can also do harm if too much is ingested at once, and bones can splinter into sharp shards that can cut a pet’s mouth or even puncture the intestinal lining. Offer your pet their own meal, as well as a good old-fashioned chew toy, to keep them satisfied.

Alcohol Awareness

Will your holiday celebrations include alcoholic beverages? Remember to keep a close eye on all liquor, beer, wine, and champagne, as alcohol is extremely dangerous for pets. It affects animals the same way it affects humans—the difference is, it only takes small amounts to do serious damage to pets. Never let your pet drink an alcoholic beverage or eat foods cooked in alcohol.

Poisonous Plant Life

Some common holiday plants may pose a threat to pets as well. Poinsettias, while not necessarily toxic, produce a milky sap-like secretion that may irritate a pet’s mouth when chewed and upset the stomach if swallowed. Holly and mistletoe have also been known to induce toxic reactions in pets. To be safe, tightly restrict your animal companion’s access to these plants, especially if your pet is the curious nibbler type.

From all of us here at your Cameron Park, CA veterinarian’s office: Happy Holidays! Call the clinic for even more helpful information to keep your pet safe this time of year.

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