Tricky Tinsel

Q

Can Christmas be dangerous to my pet?

A

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we can bring out the decorations. As we make our house festive for the Holidays, keep an eye out for some pet dangers.  Be aware that some holiday plants, rich food, and even the Christmas tree are all potential hazards.

Holiday plants:  Plants to be wary of include mistletoe, poinsettia, and lilies.  Ingestion of these plant leaves and berries can cause vomiting and diarrhea.  Early treatment is important to avoid more serious consequences.

Rich Food:  Any new food can upset your pet.  Rich foods containing increased fats (think butter) such as pastries and sauces can even trigger pancreatitis. Symptoms include vomiting, lack of appetite, abdominal pain and listlessness.

Christmas Tree:  Be aware that some additives to the Christmas tree water may not be good for your pet.  Read the content label carefully.  Also, some cats view the tree as a new climbing toy. Bringing down the tree with a crash can lead to injury.   Ribbon and tinsel are well known to cause serious intestinal damage, possibly requiring surgery, when toyed with by an inquisitive pet and then ingested.  Needless to say, chewing on light strings and extension cords can cause tongue and mouth burns or worse.

Have a blessed and safe Christmas Holiday – please give your pet a special hug.