November and December are filled with holiday merriment, but an unexpected trip to the veterinary hospital can instantly spoil the cheer. There are many seasonal dangers for pets, including consumption of toxic foods and decorations, that can devastate a Christmas, Thanksgiving or holiday celebration.
From chocolate and turkey bones to tinsel and toys, veterinarians at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital have treated dozens of dogs and cats who have gotten into holiday-related food and items. In fact, BluePearl, which has more than 80 hospitals in 25 states across the U.S., sees an approximate 69 percent increase in chocolate-related emergency visits every Christmas Eve.
This holiday season, William L. Snell, DVM, DACVS-SA, Medical Director of BluePearl in Boston, Mass., is offering pet owners a few suggestions on how to keep their pets safe.
Around this time every year, our hospitals see an influx in foreign body, toxicity, pancreatitis, feline lower urinate tract disease and urethral obstruction cases,” said Dr. Snell.
Follow these expert tips to ensure a smooth and safe holiday season for your pets—and your guests:
While chocolate is a big part of the holidays for many people, it is toxic to dogs and cats. Be sure to keep chocolate, along with any other sweets and baked goods containing chocolate, away from pets. Also, be mindful of table scraps, including turkey, turkey skin, gravy, and meat fat. Even in small doses, these foods can cause a life-threatening condition in pets called pancreatitis.
It is important to remember that, as part of the family, it is a pet owner’s responsibility to protect pets from the harms that may come along during this festive season,” Dr. Snell explained.
Keeping pets safe this holiday season may seem straightforward, but it’s best to be proactive and plan ahead. While you may know that Fido cannot have Turkey bones, other houseguests may not. Make sure guests are aware of what pets can and can’t have to ensure a safe and happy holiday.
BluePearl Pet Hospitals provide 24/7 emergency medical care for pets–including holidays–in most locations.