Tips to make Christmas healthy and safe for pets

Middlesex

From the food and treats to the noise and excitement, the holiday season can be overwhelming and even dangerous for your pet.

“My grandchildren are going to be coming over, and she’s so noise sensitive,” said Killingworth resident Connie Bombaci to the veterinarians at the Shoreline Animal Hospital.

She is concerned about her rescue beagle Heidi. The crowds and noise of Christmas parties are tough on her.

“There are some homeopatheic medications that you can use,” said Dr. Lynda Perry. “We try not to use drugs unless they’re absolutely necessary.”

Christmas comes with lots of other dangers for pets, too. A big one is chocolate. Dark chocolate is the most toxic for pets.

“It can result in some very serious neurological symptoms: seizures and can eventually be fatal if not treated properly,” said Dr. Michelle West.” That is a true emergency situation and you definitely want to contact your veterinarian.”

Eating holiday plants like poinsettias, mistletoe and holly can cause vomiting and other stomach issues for pets. Tinsel and ribbon sure look pretty, and it can be cute to watch the cat play with them, but cats also like to swallow things with a long, thin shape, and that can be very dangerous.

“It goes down into their intestines and sometimes it can’t pass all the way through the intestines and it acts like the drawstring on a pair of sweatpants,” Dr. West explained. “It pulls their intestines together and can cause an obstruction and could ultimately result in the need for emergency surgery.”

Even eating actual food can cause trouble. Don’t let friends and family feed table scraps to the animals. You’ll be cleaning up the mess later. And speaking of a mess, those pretty snowglobes can fall and break. Keep the pets away from those, because that’s not water inside, it’s ethylene glycol, the same thing that’s in antifreeze.

“It has a good taste to the animals and they only have to lick a small amount of it and it can cause some very serious illness including kidney failure, which can put your animal in the hospital,” said Dr. West.

Christmas is not the only holiday with potential problems for pets. Think about New Year’s. Noisemakers can be traumatic for sensitive animals. Plus, if you’re throwing confetti around, don’t let the pets eat it. 
 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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