Dr. Sarah Sexton shares a message about pet holiday safety.
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas! It’s the best time of the year!! It’s a time to celebrate the greatest gift of all through baking, giving of gift, and sharing time with our friends and family. Many families also include their pets in their various festivities. However, there are many precautions you can take to ensure that the season is safe for both you and your furry family members. Here are a few things to consider:
- Electrocution– Keep all cords out of reach of pets- especially puppies. Puppies tend to be the most curious and are exploring everything in the world with their mouths.
- Foreign body ingestion (aka: eating your Christmas ornaments and decorations)– This is most often seen in cats and puppies. So, if your pet starts vomiting be on the lookout for broken or missing decorations (including tinsel).
- Pancreatitis or other Gastrointestinal diseases– I know it is tempting to share the fruitcake and fudge with your furry family member but DON’T DO IT! Their body is not made to digest these fats and sugars and can lead to vomiting and diarrhea that can become severe and even life threatening.
- Cold weather– For those of us who have pets that prefer the outdoors make sure that they have a warm shelter that is easily accessible for them. Also, be sure that their water remains thawed and accessible.
For those who go out merely to relieve themselves or for a brief breath of fresh air, be aware of ice melting products and antifreeze. If an ice melting product has been used please wipe your pets’ feet off immediately after a trip outside. These products could be licked and be yet another reason for Gastrointestinal upset. Antifreeze ingestion can cause kidney shutdown!
- ATTACK, ATTACK!– Here’s the scenario: For Christmas dinner you are going over to Aunt Margie’s house who has Great Dane that lives indoors. You want to bring along your little poodle that the Great Dane has never met before. Poodle thinks she’s going to show Great Dane who is boss. Great Dane, with one echoing bark and snap shows poodle that this is his house and poodle better back off. You are now rushing poodle into the veterinary ER to- at the least- clean and mend a few wounds, at the most- attempt to save Poodle’s life.
This sounds a little dramatic, but it happens all too often. Be aware that pets can be territorial. Please discuss with family members before deciding whether or not to bring your pets with you to another home. If boarding your furry friend turns out to be the best option please make sure you plan ahead and make your reservations before there is no room in the inn.
Dr. Sexton graduated from Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. For a full bio of Dr. Sexton, click the link below.