Tis the season for hustle, bustle, big meals and getting together with friends and family – a joyous time of year! To make sure it is a happy and healthy one for your pets as well, here are a few things to consider:
• The biggest threat to your pet’s health this time of year is likely eating something they shouldn’t, which depending on what they have eaten, can result in mild gastrointestinal upset to life threatening toxicity and pretty much everything in between! The most common culprits are:
CHOCOLATE – Dogs LOVE chocolate but it can cause serious problems for them. In small doses, it will cause vomiting and diarrhea, but chocolate contains the stimulants caffeine and theobromine and at higher doses it can cause life threatening heart and respiratory problems. The increasing popularity of marijuana edibles can lead to a double whammy for your pet.
TURKEY DINNER – While you might be tempted, in the spirit of the season to ‘treat’ your pet to some of your turkey dinner, the sudden change in diet can cause very painful stomach upset for them! In some cases, it can even lead to pancreatitis – a very painful and potentially life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Many foods that we eat on a regular basis can be toxic to dogs including ONIONS, GRAPES and RAISENS
GARBAGE GUT – While the rest of the family is enjoying their meal or opening presents, Fido and Fluffy may be scouting out the garbage can and getting into things like bones, food wrappers and more – PLEASE SECURE YOUR GARBAGE CAN!
TABLE CENTRES AND FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS – May contain plants that are poisonous to your pet or may be very irritating to their mouth and digestive tract
CHRISTMAS RIBBONS AND DECORATIONS – Pets often explore with their mouths – and ribbons, bows and shiny tree ornaments may be irresistible to them. Even Christmas lights can be tempting to some more inquisitive pets – and carry the added risk of electrical shock!
MARIJAUNA CONTAINING PRODUCTS AND OTHER DRUGS – Marijauna containing products are a significant threat to dogs in particular because of their tendency to wolf down whatever they get into – several joints or an entire edible bar – giving themselves a massive dose of THC. Please store any THC containing products and medications (both prescription and over the counter drugs) well out of your pet’s reach.
SUGAR FREE GUM – Many sugar-free gum and other ‘sugar free’ products contain XYLITOL an artificial sweetener that is EXTREMELY toxic to dogs. It can cause seizures due to life threatening low blood sugar.
• Changes in routine including extra guests, noise and commotion can be stressful for pets – even things like furniture being moved and new decorations can create stress. Occasionally, this can lead to ‘accidents’ and litterbox issues. Also, beware of pets who trying to ‘bolt’ out the door as people are coming and going. Please make sure your pet has a quiet, safe, secure spot to go to if the celebrations get to be too much for them.
• Cold Weather – Please make sure your pet has a safe, warm and dry spot with adequate food and water. Depending on the size and coat on your pet, they may appreciate functional coats and/or booties for outdoor activities.
• Electronics – Many pets will chew electronics given the opportunity. This can lead not only to a foreign body situation but also the risk of electric shock or swallowing batteries. (Aside from the health risk to your pet, it also gets expensive – Delilah, our Chihuahua has a penchant for chewing Apple ear buds or pods while Hudson our PWD has a penchant for eyeglasses!)
Happy Holidays from the team at Sault Ste. Marie Animal Clinic
We are now closed (and will not be accessing social media or email) until Monday December 30th at 8:00 am.
If you require emergency veterinary services, please call 705-759-8888 for instructions to reach the ‘On Call’ Veterinarian.
Best Wishes for a safe and Merry Christmas with your two legged and four legged friends and family!
(Don’t forget to share pictures of your pet enjoying the festivities in our ‘Happy Holiday Pets’ Photo Album)