Pet owners urged to take special care during holiday season
COLUMBIA - December is filled with festivities, but an emergency trip to the veterinarian can spoil all the holiday cheer.
Decorations and foods are the main things that could hurt pets during this time of year.
A Columbia veterinarian said pet owners need to watch their pet around holiday foods.
"Chocolate is one of the big ones, we also just worry about dogs getting into fatty meals. Those can cause pancreatitis and those type of issues," Beth Luebbering said.
There is a lot to watch out for when decorating too.
"If you like to put tinsel on your trees, cats like to play with tinsel, but then if they ingest it they can get a foreign body which can cause a lot of problems," Luebbering said.
Luebbering points out some of the most dangerous holiday things pets can get into:
- Liquid Potpourri: Toxic if dogs and cats ingest it and can severely damage an animals mouth, skin and eyes.
- Batteries: If a dog or cat ingests a battery it could cause an obstruction.
- Poinsettia: Can cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting and diarrhea if they ingest it.
- Mistletoe: Can cause cardiovascular problems.
- Holly: Can case intestinal distress.
- Lilies: Very toxic, especially for cats, and could cause kidney failure.
Luebbering said she sees more pets around this time of the year.
"We see a lot of vomiting, diarrhea and those type of incidents of pets getting into the trash or getting into things they shouldn't get into and it's more because the opportunity is more prevalent," Luebbering said.
She said there are ways to keep pets safe throughout the holiday season.
"Putting them in a kennel while your away at work. With cats, those are a little harder because you don't put them in kennels, but if you do like to put tinsel up, you wanna make sure you put tinsel higher up on your tree were your cat can't reach it," Luebbering said.
Pet owner Emily Ray said people should dog-proof their homes until they know how pets will react to the extra food and decorations.
"For the first year that I had Gabby, we kept everything out of reach or we kept things to a minimum, " she said.
Luebbering said it's all about education and taking the necessary precautions.