Christmas And Your Pet

Animal Clinic of Verona

January 2017

The holiday season is upon us! And so are a lot of things that aren’t great for your furry family member. Avoid these things and keep the festivities fun and safe for everyone in your home this holiday season.

  • Chocolate: As tasty as chocolate can be for us, it is dangerous for our pets. Chocolate dispenses an unhealthy dose of methylxanthines. While cats often don’t show interest in chocolate it can still cause irritability and discomfort in felines. Dogs tend to be the culprit when it comes to eating chocolate! In fact, over 90 percent of chocolate toxicity calls to the Pet Poison Helpline are for dogs. It’s still a good rule of thumb to not let any pet have chocolate. Better to err on the side of caution!.
  • Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. In addition there are many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-festive artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet. Poinsettias are also very dangerous for your pets for the same reasons as lilies. Be cautious and attentive if these flowers are in your home.
  • Alcohol: Now it's highly unlikely any of your household guests would dare to give Fido or Fluffy a sip of their alcoholic drink, but they may not think twice about a piece of rum cake. Pets may also inadvertently become poisoned if they eat any unbaked bread dough. Once ingested the stomach acts as an artificial oven that basically metabolizes the yeast from the unbaked dough into ethanol and carbon dioxide. This can then cause the animal to bloat from the excess carbon dioxide and suffer from alcohol poisoning! Alcohol from a cocktail or other alcoholic beverage could cause your pet to become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
  • Medications: You may be stickler when it comes to pet-proofing your house, but once the holiday guests arrive that all goes out the window. Traveling household guests often leave open suitcases on the ground, where pets can easily get into prescription medications. Best to warn your guests that there will be a pet around and encourage them to either put luggage in a closet or somewhere that a door can be closed.
  • Tinsel: Tinsel is a big one for our feline friends. It’s sparkly and light and can be batted around with ease, what’s not to love? If you have a cat in your home please decorate with something a little safer. Tinsel is thin and sharp and can easily wrap itself around the intestines or ball up in the stomach once ingested.
  • Xylitol: It may sound like some exotic instrument, but xylitol is just a sugar substitute found in some sugar-free candies, gum and recipes. When ingested by pets, xylitol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure. Don't let your sweet tooth accidentally become hazardous to your pet's health.
  • Lights/Electrical cords: Winter holidays bring with them plenty of connected devices —lights, lights, and more lights — along with the electrical cords and outlets needed to power these devices. Curious puppies and kittens are especially intrigued by the exposed wiring and are therefore most in danger of the burns or fluid accumulation in the lungs associated with electrical shocks. Take care where you place electrical cords and outlets, and when possible, place them out of reach from your pet.

Keeping all of this in mind, have a safe and happy holiday season from our family to yours.

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Our Location

The Animal Clinic of Verona is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley!

We are conveniently located near the following localities:

Staunton, Augusta County, Verona, Fishersville, Penn Laird, McGayhesville, Waynesboro, Weyers Cave, Shenandoah Valley, Highland County, Harrisonburg, Churchville, Stuarts Draft, Grottoes, Port Republic, Harriston, New Hope, and Crimora!

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