Tips to keep your pet safe, happy and healthy over their lifetime

Michelle Huddle, DVM

To help insure that your family and furry friends all enjoy the holiday season and every day of the year here are some potential hazards that which should be avoided.

Especially baking chocolate can be lethal to your pets.

These commonly added spices can cause red blood cell destruction and should not be given to pets.

Turkey skins, gravy etc. can result in gastrointestinal irritation and in severe cases, pancreatitis. Limit table scraps and tell your guests to do so also.

Artificial sweeteners can cause a drastic drop in blood sugar and in severe cases liver failure. Most gums, these days, use an artificial sweetener called xylitol. This causes severe damage if ingested in large enough quantities.

Can cause vomiting, lethargy, increased body temperature and hind limb weakness.

Similar to grapes; can cause kidney failure if ingested in large quantities.

Some may think it is funny to give their pet alcohol, but remember pets are not as big as humans and small doses can make them seriously ill.

Small or cooked bones can chip easily, posing a serious threat to internal injury.

Pets, especially cats, are particularly curious about the new decorations that are out around the holiday season. Please be sure to keep products like tinsel, ribbons, yarn, bows away from your pets. These objects can get caught in the gastrointestinal tract, bunch up, cause blockage of the intestines and may possibly require surgery to fix.

Plants are also beautiful additions to your home during the holiday seasons. Although beautiful and festive, your furry friends may find enjoyment in eating these holiday plants. Plants that are potentially toxic around the holiday season include the following.

Can cause kidney failure to cats if ingested.

Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy.

Most commonly causes mild gastrointestinal irritation but in severe case can cause cardiovascular problems.

Most commonly causes mild gastrointestinal irritation.

Please be aware additives that make your tree live longer can cause your pet to vomit. Bacteria from standing water can result in severe gastrointestinal irritation.

Other winter hazards

Antifreeze has a pleasant taste. Unfortunately, very small amounts can be lethal. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a cat; less than four teaspoons can be dangerous to a 10-pound dog.

Ice melting products can be irritating to the skin and mouth. Signs of ingestion include excessive drooling, depression, vomiting or even electrolyte imbalances.

These products are great to take care of those pesky winter rodents that try to get into your house during the cold season but are extremely dangerous to pets if ingested. When using rat and mouse bait, place the products in areas that are inaccessible to your companion animals.

I hope this helps prevent any mis-haps this holiday season. If you are concerned your pet has been poisoned please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. If you need any other information please feel free to contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-4 ANI-HELP. Enjoy this time of year with your family…. including your furry four-legged friends. Have a safe and Happy Holiday.

Dr. Michelle Huddle | Advanced Pet Care Clinic | Valentine, Nebraska

Michelle Huddle, DVM

AAHA Accredited

Advanced Pet Care Clinic, LLC is the only American Animal Hospital Association accredited veterinary clinic within 160 miles of Valentine, Nebraska. 

American Animal Hospital Association | AAHA.org

As the organization that accredits veterinary hospitals in the United States and Canada, AAHA sets the standard for quality veterinary care.

Learn more at AAHA.org

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