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HOLIDAY HAZARDS

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Holidays are exciting times, even for pets! Yet holiday festivities present situations that can be hazardous for them. Each year, thousands of pets end up at veterinary hospitals for treatment of holiday-related injury or illness. These are some of the more common holiday hazards to guard against.

Valentine’s Day and Halloween
  • Sweets: Too much candy can lead to stomach upset. Chocolate can be fatal due to theobromine, a caffeine-like chemical substance found naturally in chocolate. Keep holiday sweets out of reach of your pets.
Passover and Easter
  • Candles: Anchor candles securely, away from curious pets; a tipped candle spells disaster.
  • Plants: Easter lilies are poison to your pets when eaten; keep them out of reach.
Independence Day
  • Fireworks: Loud noises can be very disturbing to your pets; fear may cause them to bolt from outdoor enclosures. Keep your pets indoors, safe from loud and sudden noises.
Thanksgiving
  • Bones: Turkey and ham have tempting bones, but don’t feed them to your pets! Small bones and bone chips can lodge in the throat, stomach, and intestines.
  • Fat: Foods with high fat content, such as gravy and poultry skin, can cause severe stomach upset. Do your pet a favor and don’t share holiday food.
Christmas and Hanukkah
  • Plants: Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias have sap and leaves that cause severe stomach upset. Keep these out of reach.
  • Holiday Trees: Anchor trees securely; a tree-climbing cat or big dog with a happy tail could topple a tree. Preservatives, sugar, and aspirin additives used in the water reservoir can cause intestinal problems, so make sure the base is inaccessible.
  • Ornaments: Sharp or breakable ornaments, small dreidels, tinsel, and ribbon can injure your pet.
Along with holiday celebrations come visitors, who often create stress for pets. With visitors coming and going, keep an eye out for open doors. Make sure your pets have identification (collar with tags as well as a microchip) in case your pet slips out.

Provide a quiet, special retreat area for your pets when the festivities become overwhelming.

Have fun—be safe!