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Four Holiday Hazards for Pets

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy for our families, but in preparing for the season, many pet owners run the risk of exposing their pets to household dangers that could present potential life-threatening hazards. Following is a list of four hazards to be aware of this holiday season.

1. Decorations

ornaments.JPGWhile holiday decorations can make a home feel more festive, they can be tantalizing traps for pets. Keep decorations and ornaments higher up on trees so they’re not consumed by pets. If a pet decides the colorful garland or tree trim might make a tasty snack, they can and will get stuck in the pet’s intestines, necessitating immediate surgical removal. Also, exposed cords from electric lights can cause electrocution or oral burns if chewed.

2. Gift wrap

giftwrap.JPG

When it’s time to pull all the gifts out of hiding to be wrapped, make sure your pets aren’t in the room while you spread out all the wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons. If a cat starts gnawing on the ribbon, it will literally ‘stitch’ the cat’s intestines together as it’s being passed through the gut.

3. Holiday feast

turkeymeal.JPGWhile turkey and ham make up the majority of traditional holiday meals, turkey and ham bones can become lodged in your pet’s intestines if swallowed in large pieces. In addition, many of the tasty goodies we consume during the holidays can cause serious intestinal illness in our pets. Do not offer table scraps to pets. Cats and dogs could become seriously ill or even choke to death.

4. Flowers

pointsetia.JPGThe poinsettias we use as holiday centerpieces are also toxic to most household pets if they’re chewed and swallowed in large enough quantities. The level of toxicity is completely proportionate to the size and weight of the pet, but instead of doing the math on that equation, it’s better to choose other types of floral arrangements that don’t endanger your pets.

The holidays should be fun for your family and your pets, not an unscheduled trip to the veterinary clinic. However if something does happen, don’t hesitate to take your pet to the doctor right away – no matter what holiday it is.

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