At Companion Veterinary and Urgent Care Center, we understand how important your pets are to you and how much it means to spend the holidays with them!
The holidays can be an exciting time for you and your pets, but they can also bring about a variety of concerns and harmful situations for the furry members of your family. Sudden, unexpected trips to the emergency veterinary during the holidays can be stressful and upsetting for everyone in your household, but we have some tips to help you learn to avoid them below.
No pet owner wants to have to worry about their pet needing emergency care, and no emergency vet wants a pet to need emergency care during the holidays.
Below are seven tips to avoid needing an emergency vet during the holidays:
WATCH YOUR COOKING INGREDIENTS
When you cook during the holidays, you may end up with many different types of ingredients than those you usually have on hand. You may also cook food that comes in different containers or uses different equipment as well.
A way to avoid needing an emergency or urgent vet during the holidays is to keep all ingredients safely away from pets while you cook. Store turkey bones, greasy dishes and foil, cooking twine, and any garbage bags full of these ingredients where pets cannot reach them. Cooking a holiday meal may be a good time to keep your pets in another room for a little while, if this is possible.
BE MINDFUL OF ALCOHOL
Some pets don’t pay much attention to alcohol, but others will go to great lengths to try to reach bottles and glasses containing alcoholic drinks. If you have a pet who likes to try to drink your alcohol, be especially careful about where you keep open bottles, cocktails and other similar beverages.
Pets should never be allowed to drink even a drop of alcohol. If your pet ingests alcohol, this can quickly lead to respiratory problems and will require significant treatment by an emergency vet.
Prevention is key in this situation.
KEEP SWEETS AND NUTS SAFELY STORED
Desserts sweetened with sugar-free substances should also be kept away from animals. Xylitol poisoning can be fatal to both dogs and cats, and you might be surprised at how many items contain this ingredient.
Of course, chocolate-based sweets should also be kept far out of the reach of your pets. Chocolates may cause seizures, increased heart rate, and even death in some pets.
BE CAUTIOUS WITH PLANT DÉCOR
Poinsettias may cause irritation to the stomach resulting in drooling, vomiting or nausea and require a trip to the emergency vet. Holly and mistletoe are also known to cause stomach and digestive problems.
To avoid needing an emergency vet visit during the holidays, you can always decorate your home with plants that are safe for pet exposure, but be aware that they may still end up chewed on anyway!
If you prefer, you can stick with faux plants for best results.
ANCHOR YOUR TREE
Dogs and cats alike tend to become enamored with the Christmas tree. If you think your pet is going to want to get a little too up close and personal with your tree, then you should consider anchoring it to avoid a situation where you may need a visit to the urgent care/ emergency vet.
Anchoring your tree can keep your pet from tipping it over and potentially hurting himself (or breaking your decorations). It can also prevent your pet from reaching the water in the basin, which may cause stomach upset if ingested.
TAKE CARE WITH TINSEL, WIRES, AND ORNAMENTS
Tinsel is easy for cats to chew on, and since it resembles many cat toys, they often try to play with it. If your cat swallows a piece of tinsel, it could cause a digestive blockage that will require emergency surgery.
Chewing on wires can potentially cause a pet to become shocked fatally by electricity. Broken ornament pieces, if ingested, can damage the mouth, throat, and intestines of your pet.
DON’T SHARE TABLE SCRAPS
We’ve already gone over some of the reasons why you should be careful with desserts, nuts, and cooking ingredients, but as a general rule of thumb, don’t share your holiday table scraps with any of the furry members of your family.
Table scraps are never good for pets. Although it may be okay to share small bits of very pet-safe foods (such as plain cooked chicken—no salt, oil, or other seasonings included), the best way to keep your pet from getting sick from human food and from needing an urgent care/ emergency vet during the holidays is to refrain from feeding this type of food in the first place.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to protect your pets during the holidays. When you take the time to pet-proof your home and your holiday décor, you’ll be doing yourself and your furry family members all a favor.