Celebrating the holidays wouldn’t be the same without involving our furry friends, but did you know that the holidays are one of the most dangerous times of the year for our four-legged companions? House guests, decorations, and rich foods can provide potential hazards for your family pet. Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, small animal veterinarian and founder of Pawcurious.com, shares the following expert tips for keeping your pet safe during the holidays. Feel free to share them with your readers and let us know if you have any questions or requests for more information.
1. Ensure you’re prepared if your pet gets out
· With all the holiday visitors and festivities, it’s easy for stressed pets to slip out the door or backyard. Be sure your pet has its tags and microchips updated with your current address and phone number.
· Consider a GPS product like Tagg – The Pet Tracker to calm your fears. Tagg attaches to your pet’s collar and will send you an alert if your pet does slip out, and then allows you to track your pet’s location in real time so you can pick him up and bring him home!
2. Be aware of holiday fragrances
· Candles are a fire and burn risk, of course. Many owners turn to scented potpourri, thinking it is a safer option, but it is extremely caustic when ingested and can cause esophageal ulcers.
3. Mind the string
· Cats love ribbons, string and tinsel. But when ingested, they can lead to a painful condition called “string foreign body” and can actually perforate the intestine.
4. Keep an eye on the holiday treats
· Although everyone knows chocolate is toxic, the most common reason pets wind up in the ER is because they ingested too much fatty food and gave themselves an upset stomach or pancreatitis. If you have a relative who insists on feeding the pet treats, keep a bowl of special pet-friendly holiday treats nearby and ask them to feed your pet those instead of pieces of sausage!
5. Know where the emergency vet is located
· If your pet has an emergency, you can’t call 911. The last thing you want to have to do in that situation is look up directions to the vet clinic when you’re stressed and in a hurry! Know their phone number and map out the location ahead of time.