Protect Your Pets During The Holidays



A typical Christmas tree is bursting with dangers for your pet. Keep light strands high enough on the tree to prevent burns if they contact your pet’s skin. Dangling electrical cords can be a tempting – and dangerous-- toy. Avoid decorating with glass ornaments which can be knocked down and broken, resulting in cut feet or mouths. Never decorate with edible ornaments-- they may contain toxic paints or varnishes. Consider purchasing a portable exercise pen to enclose the tree and protect your pets from mishaps. It may not "look the best" but it could save a life.


Poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, and Christmas roses can all be toxic. The best advice with holiday plants is to keep them away from curious mouths. Also remember: never share chocolate or alcohol with your pets.


Turkey Bones: Never give your pet cooked bones. Cooked Turkey and Chicken bones are especially dangerous!
Holiday doggie feasts: No matter how good they have been this year, fatty foods can spell danger for your pets. Holiday binges can cause problems ranging from simple indigestion or a touch of diarrhea to potentially life- threatening pancreatitis.


Antifreeze: At Christmas and all winter long, remember antifreeze is a danger for your pet. Even in very small amounts, ethylene glycol, the most common ingredient in antifreeze, can cause crystals to form in an animal’s kidney, ultimately leading to kidney failure and death! Pets should always be kept away from driveways, garages, and any place that antifreeze may have spilled. It is also important to make sure your car isn’t leaking antifreeze. Rapid treatment is the key to successful treatment for antifreeze toxicity. If you see your pet ingesting antifreeze or think she may have, please call the clinic immediately!
Rock Salt: Ice and the rock salt used to melt it off of sidewalks can be irritating to your dog’s feet. Check their feet frequently—especially after walks. Rinse off any salt or ice and dry thoroughly. Dog boots can help protect sensitive feet


Ornaments are very shiny and often attractive to your pets. Keep your pets away from them but if there is a mishap with glass ornaments or lights here is a method to aid your pet:


BEFORE the holiday go to a pharmacy and buy a box of cotton balls. Be sure that you get COTTON balls...not the cosmetic puffs that are made from man-made fibers. Also, buy a quart of half-and-half coffee cream and put it in the freezer. Should your dog eat glass ornaments. Defrost the half-and-half and pour some in a bowl. Dip cotton balls into the cream and feed them to your dog.

Dogs under 10 lbs should eat 2 balls which you have first torn into smaller pieces. Dogs 10-50 lbs should eat 3-5 balls and larger dogs should eat 5-7. You may feed larger dogs an entire cotton ball at once. Dogs seem to really like these strange treats and eat them readily.

As the cotton works its way through the digestive tract it will find all the glass pieces and wrap itself around them. Even the teeniest shards of glass will be caught and wrapped in the cotton fibers and the cotton will protect the intestines from damage by the glass. Your dog's stools will be really weird for a few days and you will have to be careful to check for fresh blood or a tarry appearance to the stool. If either of the latter symptoms appear you should rush your dog to the vet for a checkup but, in most cases, the dogs will be just fine.

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This page is for REFERENCE ONLY and should not be substituted for advice from a veterinarian!