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  • Writer's pictureThe Vet Experts

Keeping Your Pets Safe Over The Festive Season

It’s finally the holiday season, and that means we’re all decking the halls and taking out treats that we wait all year to get to. It’s also an exciting time for our pets - everyone is home, happy and there are plenty of leftovers to sneak off the tables.

And as cute as the idea is, that’s a big risk for your pet during the holidays.

This time of year, there is an uptick in pet-related emergencies relating specifically to holiday activities, and trust us Christmas or Boxing day is not a good time to be rushing around finding urgent vet care. You also don’t want to be spending your downtime from the office worrying about your companion needing surgery or other serious treatments.

These are some of the most important things you need to bear in mind to keep your pets safe this festive season:

Making The Environment Safe

The weather is steadily cooling down and that means we need to be extra aware of our pets’ comfort.

Say you are having a get-together at your house for Christmas. If your pet tends to get rowdy when there is too much excitement, this is not the time to put them outside. Always keep your pets indoors during cold weather, and try making them a den with plenty of toys and fresh food in a spare room or bedroom instead.

Holding Bad Snacks At Bay

When the good smells are filling the house and you’re getting ready to load up the table with beautiful holiday dishes, keep in mind that although Fido is begging for a taste it might not be best to give him one.

Many traditional holiday foods can be dangerous for our pets. You need to be careful of:

  • Anything with bones - the bones can splinter and cause internal damage and harm.

  • Candy. Many sweeteners are fatal to cats and dogs, and chocolate, in particular, can cause vomiting and eventually death.

  • Anything with citric acid. Citric acids and citrus-based foods that are consumed by your pet can cause bad intestinal irritation and even blockages that can be life-threatening.

  • Avoid breakfast foods. Coffee and eggs might be a good option for you but they can cause serious intestinal issues for your pet.

  • Garlic and onion. These flavor-adding options will do more than give your pet bad breath - any kind of garlic or onions whether fresh or dried and preserved are dangerous for your pet.

Be Careful Of Christmas Decorations

As beautiful as they are, holiday decorations are one of the biggest culprits in urgent vet care trips during this season.

Things like tinsel can be attractive to your pet as a toy or chewable object, and once swallowed they can cause potentially fatal blockages. The same goes for those pine needles shedding from the Christmas tree - loose pine needles when swallowed by your pet can cause internal punctures or bunch together and cause a blockage.

Then, there is the issue of Christmas plants. Christmas roses, poinsettias, and other traditional greenery of the season are typically poisonous to pets if eaten. If you do plan to keep them in your home, make sure they are put somewhere that your pet cannot get to it.

Think About Travel

If you are planning to travel during the holidays, you need to think carefully about what you are going to do with your pet. Are they going to come with you? Are they staying with a friend or is a petsitter going to be checking on them daily?

If you are planning to travel with your pet, you need to speak to your vet to make proper arrangements. Air travel, for example, can be a very stressful experience for your pet and you might want to ask your vet for a mild, safe sedative that you can give them before taking off.

If you are driving, you need to ensure that you have safety measures in place for your pet. No pet should be in your car unsecured - try to arrange a carrier that can be secured with a seatbelt before your trip. You’ll also need to schedule multiple stops along the way for water and bathroom breaks.

Keep Your Urgent Vet Care Details Handy

Companion Veterinary and Urgent Care Center is the only veterinary hospital in Bradenton/Sarasota that provides urgent and wellness care, which allows us to provide a “whole pet” approach to your furry family member’s health.

Contact us today or come right in if you are experiencing an animal-related emergency.

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