Safety tips to help you and your pet's holidays to be happy!
Make sure you know how to contact your 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic before there’s an emergency. Talk with us at ABC Veterinary Hospital in advance to find out where you would need to take your pet, and plan your travel route so you’re not trying to find your way when stressed. Always keep these numbers posted in an easy-to-find location in case of emergencies:
ABC Veterinary Hospital: (760) 471-4950
ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 1-888-426-4435
Quick Action Can Save Lives
If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call ABC Veterinary Hospital immediately. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 1-888-426-4435. Signs of pet distress include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Keep people food away from pets.
If you want to share holiday treats with your pets, make or buy treats formulated just for them.
The following people foods are especially hazardous for pets:
Chocolate is an essential part of the holidays for many people, but it is toxic to dogs and cats. Although the toxicity can vary based on the type of chocolate, the size of your pet, and the amount they ate, it’s safer to consider all chocolate off limits for pets. Other sweets and baked goods also should be kept out of reach. Not only are they often too rich for pets; an artificial sweetener often found in baked goods, candy and chewing gum, xylitol, has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs. Turkey and turkey skin – sometimes even in small amounts – can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis. Table scraps – including gravy and meat fat –also should be kept away from pets. Many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets, including onions, raisins and grapes. During the holidays, when our own diets tend toward extra-rich foods, table scraps can be especially fattening and hard for animals to digest and can cause pancreatitis. Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.
Greenery, lights and Christmas trees can make the holidays festive, but they also pose risky temptations for our pets.
Christmas trees can tip over if pets climb on them or try to play with the lights and ornaments. Consider tying your tree to the ceiling or a doorframe using fishing line to secure it. Water additives for Christmas trees can be hazardous to your pets. Do not add aspirin, sugar, or anything to the water for your tree if you have pets in the house. Ornaments can cause hazards for pets. Broken ornaments can cause injuries, and ingested ornaments can cause intestinal blockage or even toxicity. Keep any homemade ornaments, particularly those made from salt-dough or other food-based materials, out of reach of pets. Tinsel and other holiday decorations also can be tempting for pets to eat. Consuming them can cause intestinal blockages, sometimes requiring surgery. Breakable ornaments or decorations can cause injuries. Electric lights can cause burns when a curious pet chews the cords. Flowers and festive plants can result in an emergency veterinary visit if your pet gets hold of them. Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are among the common holiday plants that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them. Poinsettias can be troublesome as well. The ASPCA offers lists of plants that are toxic to dogs and cats. Candles are attractive to pets as well as people. Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in a fire. Potpourris should be kept out of reach of inquisitive pets. Liquid potpourris pose risks because they contain essential oils and cationic detergents that can severely damage your pet’s mouth, eyes and skin. Solid potpourris could cause problems if eaten.
Boarding your dog while you travel?
Talk with ABC Vet in advance of your travel dates to find out how best to protect your pet from canine flu and other contagious diseases, and to make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines.
Dr. Barry Neichin
Chief of Staff
ABC Veterinary Hospital
San Marcos CA
When he's not busy with his duties at the hospital, Dr. Neichin can be found outside, either on the trails hiking and camping or in the water snorkeling and skin diving, as well as spending time with his two children. His family also includes Tonka, a Golden Retriever; Leo, a miniature Golden Doodle; Cosmo, a Siamese, and Ruffles, a rabbit. More about Dr. Neichin -->