Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Hazards

The holiday season is once again upon us and though we often associate this time of year with the joy of friends and family it can also be a very dangerous time of year for our four legged friends. In the hopes that your holiday plans this year will run as smoothly as possible here is a list of household hazards that can be commonly found this time of year.

Electrical Cords: Holiday lights mean more electrical cords for kittens and puppies to chew. Be sure you have cords secured and out of the way.

Holiday Plants: Holly and mistletoe are extremely poisonous when eaten. The lovely poinsettia may not be truly poisonous but its milky white sap and leaves can certainly cause severe gastric distress. With so many hybrid varieties available each year, the best approach is to keep the plants out of your pet's reach.

The Christmas Tree: Make sure your tree is well secured. If you have a tree-climbing cat or large dog with a happy tail, anchor the top of the tree to the wall, using strong cord or rope so it doesn’t come crashing down on anybody. Also, preservatives often used in the water in a tree stand can cause gastric upsets, so be sure it is inaccessible or not used. Lastly be sure to clean up any pine needles that may fall around the tree as they could puncture internal organs if ingested.

Ornaments: Sharp or breakable ornaments, dreidels, and even aluminum foil should be kept out of reach. String objects, especially tinsel and ribbons, are to be safeguarded at all costs as well. Ribbon in particular can be dangerous due to its thin width and potentially sharp edges.

Toys and Other Gifts: Make sure your pet doesn’t try to chew on toys with small or pointed parts. Also be sure to keep track of any batteries that they may need to operate. Batteries are toxic and may cause an obstruction if ingested.

Stress and Company: All the commotion caused by guests coming and going can be very stressful to your pet and all those open doors may provide an easy avenue for escape. Be sure to have collars on your pets that clearly identify who they are and where they live. Having a nice, quiet place set aside for them to go and relax is another great idea in case the festivities get too stressful.

We hope these tips will help your holiday plans go as smoothly as possible. From everyone here at the Animal Clinic at Thorndale have a safe and happy holiday.

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