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Holiday Pet Safety Tips from Your Dartmouth Emergency Vet

holiday-safetyThe holiday season from Thanksgiving on through New Years can be stressful for many people with all the hustle and bustle that goes with it, but for our pets it can be downright overwhelming. Anchor Animal Hospital, your local Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian in Dartmouth, would like to remind pet owners of all the common issues and pitfalls that can plague pets and pet owners so you can keep your home safe and happy this holiday season.

From dangerous seasonal plants to indulging in too many treats, there are lots of things to keep your eye on during the holidays. Guests visiting from out of town bring lots of new smells and people who might not be aware of basic pet safety. The tips provided here are designed to help you to enjoy all of the parties, visits and get togethers without worrying about your favorite furry friend.

Start With a Good Veterinary Check-Up

It is important to make sure that your pet has regular visits to the local Dartmouth emergency vet and clinic so you can stay on top of his or her health. Our team can set you up with a pre-holiday appointment to ensure that your pet is healthy and ready to enjoy the festivities of the season without hesitation. Call Anchor Animal Hospital to set up an appointment for a veterinary check-up and start the holiday season worry-free.

Think About Pets When Decorating

If one of your furry friends is a daredevil who likes to climb, consider anchoring your Christmas tree so it won’t fall over and possibly injure your pet. Live trees require water, which can be dangerous to pets. Stagnant water can contain bacteria, leading to diarrhea or nausea in most animals. Chemicals that are added to help preserve the tree can also be very dangerous, so make sure to consider that before adding anything to your tree water. Consider switching out valuable and breakable family heirloom decorations to plastic versions, especially if this is your first holiday with your pet. Broken glass can be dangerous to bare puppy and kitty feet, which could send you to the Dartmouth emergency vet.

Poisonous Plants

There are many holiday plants that are poisonous to pets. Poinsettias are the biggest culprits, but mistletoe and holly can also be dangerous. Holly causes diarrhea, nausea and vomiting in most pets, when ingested; while mistletoe and poinsettias can cause cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems. Christmas lilies and other varieties of this popular holiday season plant can cause kidney failure and the beautiful Christmas cactus can lead to dangerous situations with toxic and painful barbs. Your best bet is to get artificial plants if you want to decorate your home with these holiday favorites. Speak with your Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian for insight into other toxic plants that can affect your pets year-round.

Toss Out the Tinsel

One of the most dangerous decorative items is tinsel. It is shiny and attractive to both cats and dogs, but if it gets ingested it can lead to bowel obstructions that can ultimately end up in vomiting, dehydration and even surgery. Avoid adding tinsel to your tree and using shiny tinsel-like wreaths, garland or anything else that might attract the attention of your dog or cat and potentially put them in harm’s way.

Guidelines for Guests

One of the biggest problems around the holidays is all of the new people in your home for parties, family gatherings and other events. Your pet should have a quiet space that is all his own. Make sure to provide clean, fresh water, food and a place for them to feel comfortable and safe. Choose a room or area that is far enough away from guests to be somewhat quiet, yet near enough to an exit if you need to take your dog out for a walk or to let him outside. Make sure to give your guests some guidelines about interacting with your pets so they don’t accidentally do something that could put your pet in danger.

Stress and Anxiety Issues in Dogs

Anxiety issues in dogs can suddenly reveal themselves around the holidays, even if you never saw any problems before. Speak with the doctor at your veterinary check-up or call Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth about any new anxiety issues in dogs that you experience. There are therapies that can be used to keep your pet calm and safe.

Lights and Wires

Similar to tinsel and other shiny things, lights and wires can attract your pet’s attention and lead to potential disaster. Never leave candles unattended, as they can be easily knocked over to start a fire or your pet could get burned by sniffing or inspecting the flame. Watch out for wires, batteries and other things that could also become a potential hazard. Unplug the tree and other decorations before leaving your pet and consider putting your pet in a different room or even crating during the holidays to prevent issues from happening when you are away.

Contact Anchor Animal Hospital for More Tips

If you have any questions about holiday safety for your pet or would like to schedule a veterinary check-up, contact Anchor Animal Hospital, the local Dartmouth emergency vet and clinic. Our team of professional veterinarians and skilled staff have been serving the South Coast area since 1975. Give us a call or stop by our location to see why Anchor Animal Hospital is a trusted Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian by animal lovers throughout the region.