Holiday Pet Safety Tips & Emergency Vet Care Dundee, IL
The Importance of Holiday Pet Safety and What to Do if You Need an Emergency Vet in Dundee, IL
There’s no doubt that our animal companions make the holidays brighter and cozier. But be sure to keep their safety in mind, too, as there are various safety hazard that could result in a late-night or early-morning trip to the emergency vet. From the foods you serve to the decorations you place around your home, be sure to make responsible choices and always remember how these can affect your four-legged family member.
Harmful Holiday Foods
Tasty sweets and sumptuous meals are part and parcel of the holidays, but there are quite a few things that can make your pet sick if ingested, or worse. Here are some prime examples:
- Bones: Meat bones, especially chicken bones, are dangerous in several ways. First, they can splinter into sharp fragments, which can cause injury to your pet’s mouth, esophagus, stomach, and/or intestines. Second, they are a choking hazard. Third, they can cause intestinal obstruction, which would require surgical intervention.
- Grease and fat: In addition to meat bones, meat that is rich in fat and saturated in grease can give your pet an upset stomach.
- Raw or cooked onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, and chives: These veggies are part of the alium family, and are highly toxic to dogs and cats. Even cooked, they can cause serious illness in your pet if ingested in large enough amounts.
- Grapes and raisins: Ingesting either can put your pet at risk for kidney failure. Pets simply cannot digest grapes and raisins like we can.
- Chocolate: No matter what kind of chocolate you have in your home, don’t let your pet get their paws on it! Dark chocolate is the worst offender, containing more caffeine and theobromine, which can give your pet muscle tremors, heart arrhythmia, and other problems.
- Macadamia nuts: Macadamia nuts are very high in fat, which can irritate your pet’s stomach. However, they can also be quite toxic and, if eaten in a large enough amount, can cause temporary weakness in the legs and an inability to walk.
- Foods high in sugar or artificial sweetener (xylitol): Too much sugar isn’t just unhealthy for humans; it’s also unsafe for pets! Even more dangerous is xylitol, a sweetener used in many sugar-free goodies including gum, candy, cookies, and muffins. Ingesting too much xylitol can potentially be fatal for your pet, so be very careful and don’t leave any sweets sitting around where your pet can reach them.
Prevent a Decoration Disaster
For many pet parents, the holidays go off without a hitch. But for some, it’s necessary to avoid using certain decorations, which could pose a risk to their pets and their home. If you have a curious, trouble-prone pet, exercise caution with the following decorations:
- Candles: Obviously, candles are a fire hazard, especially around pets that don’t understand the dangers of open flames. If you’re using real candles, keep them out of your pet’s reach and in a secure place where they can’t be knocked over. We would also recommend using artificial candles instead, if possible.
- Light cords: Some pets like to chew, and light cords are a tempting target. Get protective plastic coverings or hang strands of lights out of your pet’s reach so they can’t get to them.
- Glass ornaments: Glass ornaments are extremely fragile. When they break, they shatter into thousands of tiny pieces, and these can cause injury to your pet.
- Tinsel: Pieces of tinsel, if ingested, can cause choking and intestinal obstruction. Use it wisely!
- Mistletoe, holly, and pine: Mistletoe and holly berries are very toxic to pets. Pine needles can also harm your pet if ingested, and the tree water, which likely contains lots of pine sap, is toxic as well.
- Candy dishes: Avoid keeping dishes filled with hard candies anywhere within your pet’s reach. Many candies contain xylitol, a very toxic sugar alcohol used in a wide variety of sugar-free sweets. Furthermore, candy wrappers can cause choking.
What to Do if Your Pet Is Having an Emergency
If your pet suddenly becomes ill or you caught them eating something toxic, don’t hesitate to call our Dundee, IL location at 847-428-6114. They can provide 24/7 emergency and critical care every day of the year, including major holidays.