A safe Christmas with your pet

cc Flickr (MsSaraKelly)
A safe Christmas with your pet

Written on December 18, 2014

Christmas is a festive time but let's be honest, many people can find it stressful. Schedule changes, overeating and last minute gifts are inevitable features of the holiday season. Even your pet can suffer from it all!

Risky foods

Turkey, meatball stew and tourtière are dishes with fantastic fragrances for your dog, who literally lives in a world of odours. Accustomed as dogs are to their daily feeding routine, those food treats from guests can soon make them feel nauseated and ill.

Contrary to popular belief, bones pose a risk to canines, especially poultry bones, despite the fact that their ancestor is the wolf! Bones can get stuck anywhere between the mouth and the anus. Their incomplete digestion irritates the digestive tract and can cause long-term inflammation problems.

Gastric torsion, a dangerous and potentially fatal condition, affects dogs with a deep thorax who eat too much and play a lot right after their meal.

Certain foods must be completely avoided, like grapes or raisins and chocolate, which are toxic for dogs. Be careful with that box of fine chocolates wrapped up under the tree. Your dog will easily home in on the smell, unwrap your present and gobble up them up in no time at all. As for birds, avocado makes them very sick.

When in doubt, better not. And consult your veterinarian if need be.

Toxic plants

Poinsettias equal danger! That beautiful plant with the red, pink, white or purple bracts is a guaranteed of diarrhea and stomachache for anyone who munches on it. That’s often cats, being excellent climbers, who can easily reach the plant wherever it happens to be.

There are other Christmas plants to watch out for. Holly produces little red fruit that cause diarrhea and vomiting in cats and dogs, but it’s rarely fatal. On the other hand, the red fruit of the mistletoe causes heart and nervous-system problems that can be fatal.

And the decorations

A Christmas tree lit up in the house obviously requires a power source. Extension cords are appealing to your rabbit, and could easily cost him his life if he chews on one. Make sure your wiring is well protected.

Shiny decorations and wrapping full of little ribbons are very attractive to your cat, but not so good for her intestines. When kitty starts to swallow the tip of a piece of ribbon or twine, often she eats it all the way to the end. That long foreign body will not be digested, but will distort the intestine in the shape of an accordion. Only emergency surgery can resolve the situation.

Antique decorations are back in fashion. Lead was used quite a bit at one time. Budgies nibble on everything, and yours could easily poison itself, even with a tiny fragment of that heavy metal.

Enjoy a happy and cautious holiday period with your animals!

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