Safety Tips for your Pets for the Holidays

By The Canyon Chronicle

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The holiday season brings many fun traditions to share with the ones we love, including our pets. While we enjoy the decorations, food and time spent together, it is important to also keep safety in mind for your pets. Fatty foods such as cheese, turkey skin and gravy are hard for pets to digest and can cause inflammation in the pancreas (pancreatitis). Vomiting and diarrhea are common signs. Onions and garlic are toxic to blood cells and can make pets sick. Bones can cause an intestinal blockage. Chocolate is toxic; it contains theobromine and caffeine, which can cause arrhythmias and seizures. Chocolate is the most common food intoxication during the holidays. Grapes/raisins are extremely toxic and will cause kidney failure and liver disease. Most people are not aware of this danger. Yeasty doughs, especially uncooked batter, will expand in the stomach and cause bloating. In extreme cases, depending on the amount ingested, it can even rupture the stomach if not addressed quickly. If absorbed, fermentation can produce alcohol which can be absorbed, as well. Xylitol or any artificial sweetener will cause liver damage, low blood glucose and seizures. This is a very serious food intoxication and pets need to be taken to the emergency room immediately if ingestion occurs Decorating is another popular part of holiday celebrations. Be aware of any decoration involving strings or small pieces, as they are dangerous if ingested. Cats are attracted to strings and may swallow them, causing a linear foreign body. Dogs may swallow small lights or ornaments and have an obstruction. Wired lights also pose a risk, as they can electrocute a pet if chewed on. Keep them unplugged during the night or when not supervised.  Holiday plants, such as Mistletoe and Holly may add beauty to your home, but can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and heart arrhythmia in both cats and dogs. Make sure Christmas trees are secured so that pets cannot pull them over. Do not put preservative in the tree-stand water and make sure the skirt is tight around the base so that your pet doesn’t drink the water.  Tree stands can be a breeding ground for bacteria and animals can become ill from drinking the water. When traveling for the holidays, be sure to have plans in place for your pet(s), whether that means taking them with you or boarding them. If you are taking them along, but have never traveled with your pet, make sure to take a short test ride beforehand.  We are often rushed and a bit stressed this time of year. Our pets can be a comfort and a reminder to slow down and take some time to enjoy them. They love spending some quiet moments together with you. Animal Clinic of Topanga will be closed from Saturday, December 23, 2023 reopening on Tuesday, January 2, 2024 to enjoy some time with our families. We wish you and your pets all the best as the year draws to a close and the new one begins. 115 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd # B, Topanga, CA 90290. (310) 455-1330. Have a wonderful holiday! See you in 2024.

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