Brrr…the winter season is now upon us and Christmas is fast approaching. There are some things we will need to prepare for, in addition to decorating our homes and buying our turkeys!!

We all love a nicely decorated home during the holiday season. But we don’t need to keep our dogs and kitties in mind when choosing ornaments.

  • Tinsel is a big no-no! Cats love the shiny string dangling from the tree, and often look at it as a toy. If swallowed, it can cause harm to our loved ones and potentially result in an expensive surgery to remove the pretty string!
  • Make sure sure that glass or breakable ornaments are not hung on lower branches of your tree. They are likely to get knocked off or batted at, and if stepped on, could lead to some cut pads on your furry loved ones feet (and yours too)!
  • Some kids like to make popcorn garland. They might look cute hanging on the tree, but they also look good enough to eat for Fido.
  • Be careful with Christmas lights. Pets may chew on cords and cause electrical burns to their mouths. Most of us probably remember the funny scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas movie – that is exaggerated scene, but can it can cause burns and electrical fires!
  • Holiday plants are pretty, but beware if you bring poinsettias, mistletoe, amaryllis and holly into your home – they can be toxic if ingested. They can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Be sure to call your veterinarian if you are concerned.

Most of us know the dangers with chocolate and our pets. But, we also need to think about leftovers from our yummy holiday dinners. Many of us want to give Fido or Fluffy a Christmas treat from our table, but most human foods are a no-no. Fatty or spicy foods can lead to upset tummies, and can potentially lead to a bout of pancreatitis! Buy your furry friend a special toy or treat, and show your love by keeping him feeling well and out of the animal hospital over the holidays!

During the holiday season, many of us have busy homes full of people. Try to give Fido and Fluffy a quiet place to retreat when there is too much going on. Some animals are shy or get nervous when there is too much commotion. Keep them feeling safe and secure in a quiet room on their own.

Even after Christmas and New Year festivity is over, the cold still persists.

  • Make sure Fido and Fluffy are not left outdoors for any extended period of time. If your dog or cat is primarily an “outdoor” member of your household, be sure to provide adequate shelter with blankets and fresh water. When the temperatures drop, it is strongly advised you bring Fido indoors!
  • Cats that are outdoors will look for warmth sometimes under the hood of a car. When the vehicle is turned, your cat could be seriously injured (or worse), by the fan belt. To avoid this happening, bang on your hood or honk the horn prior to starting the engine. This will help keep Fluffy safe.
  • Ethylene glycol is found in antifreeze and brake fluid. It tastes sweet, and so will appeal to our pets if noticed outdoors. However, it can be fatal if even a small amount is ingested. Be sure to clean any spills immediately. Avoid a veterinary hospital trip this holiday season by making sure your pets don’t get into these fluids!

Once all of the necessary precautions have been taken to keep your loved ones safe and healthy, you can relax and enjoy your holiday.

From all of us here at Princess Animal Hospital, we wish you and your families a very happy and joyful holiday season! We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!