christmas-dogCarols are on the radio, and everyone is getting ready for Christmas day. We have wrapped the gifts and trimmed the Christmas tree. During all of these preparations and festivities, we need to be aware that there are hidden dangers for our pets.

The beloved symbol of Christmas is the tree, and it contains multiple potential dangers to our pets. The tinsel is a shiny, attractive toy for cats especially. This decoration can be swallowed and cause an obstruction in the intestines and stomach. The remedy for this problem is unfortunately surgery. Glass ornaments are another potential toy that can lead to cuts on the paws and around the mouth. Either keep the ornaments out of reach or use less fragile ornaments. Also, don’t forget the water that is used to keep the tree green. It can contain fertilizer and bacteria. If your pet drinks this water, it can cause a very pronounced upset stomach.

What is Christmas without food and sweets? As we have discussed in earlier articles, there are several foods that can cause problems for our beloved pets. Fatty foods can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Bones can also cause vomiting and diarrhea, and they may even lead to surgery if they become lodged in the intestines. Watch out for the sugar free treats that contain xylitol. This sugar substitute can causes dangerously low blood sugar levels and even lead to liver failure. Chocolate is always around during this time of year. We all know that chocolate is not good for our pets. People foods should be kept from our pets at all times, but you need to be especially careful with the types of foods that are common during this holiday season.

Christmas cocktails are also very common during this time. Some of the sweeter drinks are very inviting to our pets, for the exact reason you may be drinking them. Depending on the amount of alcohol that is consumed by your dog or cat, you may see weakness or even respiratory failure. Keep your drinks out of reach of your pet. The rules you would use for children are a good rule of thumb for our pets also.

We strive to child proof our house to keep our children safe. We need to have that same mentality with our furry children. Look around the house, especially as we introduce objects that are not normally in the house. Trees, decorations, and different foods can be potential dangers for our pets. Look around as you decorate and go through the Christmas season.

If you think it may be dangerous, then assume it will be. If you have questions, feel free to ask your veterinarian. They would be more than willing to help you keep your pets safe during this festive time. If something does happen, contact your veterinarian. If it is after hours, remember there will be veterinarians and technicians working to keep your pet healthy during the night. Help your pets enjoy the Christmas season safely.