Pet Owners Should Take Extra Caution for Pets Safety During Holidays

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COLUMBIA - During the holiday season, shiny decorations around the house may be dangerous to the animals who share your home.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, veterinarians often see an increase in the number of emergency calls during the holiday season. Potential safety threats usually come from holiday decorations such as electric cords, tinsel, ornaments, etc.

Veterinary professionals also advised pet owners to take extra caution during the holidays to ensure pets get proper food. What might be considered a treat for you or a guest, such as chocolate, could cause an emergency clinic trip for your pets. 

Here is a list of holiday safety tips for pet owners provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association:




  • Don't feed dogs and cats table scraps and don't allow a family dog to sit under the table during meals where children may slip them food. Gravy, meat fat and poultry skin can cause life-threatening conditions like pancreatitis and gastrointestinal problems. Bones can splinter and create bowel obstructions.
  • Be wary of holiday decorations; pets often consume them. For example, cats sometimes consume tinsel, which can cause an intestinal blockage serious enough to require surgery.
  • Don't let your pets climb the Christmas tree. If the tree falls over, your pet could be injured. Consider tying the tree to the ceiling or a doorframe using fishing line to secure it.
  • Be wary of baked goods and sweets around pets. Not only are they often too rich for pets, but an artificial sweetener often found in baked goods, candy and chewing gum, xylitol, has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
  • Flowers, table centerpieces, fireplace adornments and other festive plants are another common holiday feature that can result in an emergency veterinary visit. Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are on the list of common holiday plants that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them, and poinsettias can be troublesome as well.
  • Unplug decorations while you're not around. Cats and dogs are often tempted to chew electrical cords.




For more information on pets safety alerts for the holidays, check out the AVMA's website.