Keeping your Pets Safe this Holiday Season

YouTube is full of funny videos of cats attacking Christmas trees. What these videos do not show is how holiday holiday pet safetydecorations can injure and even kills your pets.

It is quite hard to keep some cats out of the tree. You can buy some cat repellents to spray on the tree to keep them away. Citronella oil, the same stuff you use to keep mosquitoes at bay, works well.

Don’t use tinsel if you have indoor pets. It’s flashy and shiny, which attracts pets. If your pets eat the tinsel, it can create a blockage in their intestines. The only remedy is surgery. If you suspect your pet has eaten some tinsel, call Durham Animal Hospital immediately. If we can get it out while it is still in the stomach, surgery won’t be necessary.

Most people like lights on the tree. These can pose a burning hazard to your dog or cat. Even worse, they may bite the wires and get an electrical shock. If your pet does get zapped, call Durham Animal Hospital. We’ll advise you on what to do.

Don’t use fragile ornaments. Yes, those colored balls look pretty, but when they break, sharp shards go everywhere. That’s a hazard your feet as well last the fur baby’s feet. If your pet does get cut, check the wound. If it is deep or will not stop bleeding, you need to call us as soon as possible. If it just a minor cut, wash it with warm water and keep an eye on the cut for signs of infection. A great alternative is plastic ornaments. Often times, you can’t even tell that they aren’t glass.

If you have a live tree, sweep under it frequently. It’s unlikely that your pet will intentionally try to eat the pine needles, but they can get stuck on toys and snacks. Pine needles can puncture the stomach and intestines.

While homemade ornaments made from cinnamon and flour and candy cane reindeer are cute, it’s not a good idea to put them on the tree. Your pets will try to snack on them.

Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia are poisonous to cats and dogs. If you have these, keep them out of reach of your animals.

Always, always avoid giving your pets chocolate. Even a tiny amount of chocolate can be fatal to a dog. If you suspect Fido has found the Christmas chocolates, call us immediately. Some symptoms of chocolate poisoning are:

• Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Tremors

• Seizures

• Abnormal heart rate

For more tips to keep your pets safe this holiday season, call Durham Animal Hospital today.

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