It’s getting colder here in Oxford as we gear up for the holiday season! With the colder weather and excitement comes hidden dangers for your pet, things that may not be top of mind to most people not in the veterinary world. We’ve seen it all, and we want you to be prepared for anything that could happen. If you do find yourself in an emergency situation, please be sure to contact our preferred emergency clinics on our contact page.

Let’s first talk about the things your pet can ingest. During the holiday season, the house is full of dangerous items that your pet could ingest. If you have questions or an emergency, be sure to contact the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control.

  • If holly or mistletoe are ingested, your pet could suffer gastrointestinal upset. Mistletoe can also cause cardiovascular problems.
  • Many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.
  • Christmas tree water could contain fertilizers and bacteria that can cause nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea if ingested.
  • Chocolate, artificial sweeteners (like xylitol), fatty or spicy foods, alcohol, grapes, and other human foods can, at best, cause an upset stomach, and, at worst, be fatal, if pets consume them. Keep the human food on the human table, and give your pets some special animal-friendly holiday treats instead.
  • Human medications should be secured so pets can’t unknowingly get into them.

It’s not just food you need to worry about! The holidays bring more decorations and home scenery like a lit fireplace, candles, lights, ornaments, and decorations.

  • A curious pet could knock over a burning candle, causing a fire, or could stick her nose near one and burn herself.
  • Those tempting wires might look like a tasty or interesting treat to your pet, but they could deliver a potentially deadly electric shock when chewed.
  • Prevent your pet from chewing a toy with a battery in it—punctured batteries can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.
  • Those shiny ornaments might look appetizing to your pet, but the broken pieces can damage her digestive tract.
  • Cats love tinsel, but tinsel does not love cats. Swallowing tinsel and other stringy items, like yarn and ribbon, can lead to a bowel obstruction, vomiting, dehydration, and even death.
  • Give your pup a new ball that’s too big for him to swallow. Regular-size tennis balls can get lodged in the throat and block the airway.

We wish you and your furry family a very happy and relaxing holiday season. It’s important to give your pet a quiet, calm space away from the craziness and noise of holiday gatherings.

If you have any questions, please let us know!

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