Avoid Holiday Hazards For Your Pet

The holidays are a time of joy and family activities. Thanksgiving brings the traditional feast of turkey and trimmings. Our homes become filled with packages and presents wrapped with festive paper and ribbon. Food and decorations adorn the counter tops. Houseguests come and go. With the excitement of the holidays it is important to keep our four-footed family members in mind, as all of these activities are fraught with hazards for the family pet.

holiday-pet-hazardsThere are several things to keep in mind for the holidays when it comes to our pets. Remember holiday feasts are not for animals. Ask well-meaning guests to avoid feeding your pup scraps from the dinner table, no matter how much your dog begs for food with their “sad eyes.” Secure the holiday treats so the family pooch can’t pilfer the platter of cookies when your back is turned. The shock to a dog’s stomach going from Kibble to turkey and stuffing can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening. Next, keep ribbon away from the family cat. When consumed, ribbon creates a linear foreign body that can be devastating for your pet. Few animals will try to eat Poinsettias, but it’s best to keep these decorative plants out of your pet’s reach. For some pets, guests in the house, changes in the furniture placement, and holiday decorations can be very stressful and may lead to stress-related illness. Give pets time outside to exercise. It will be good for both of you during these hectic times. Keep these simple things in mind to keep this holiday time joyous for every member of your family.

Originally published November 2014 in the Weekly Herald

Dr. Tom Hemstreet is a veterinarian with LakeCross Veterinary in Huntersville. The vets in the big yellow house have been treating pets like family for 20 years. For more information, call 704-948-6300.