Holiday Hazards for Pets

Holiday Hazards for Pets: A Seasonal Warning

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration but can also be a time of holiday hazards for pets. As families gather and festivities abound, the risk of pet poisoning increases significantly. Dr. Renee Schmid, a senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline, urges pet lovers to be aware of potential hazards to ensure a safe and happy holiday season for their pets.

Lilies, Chocolate, and Xylitol: The Silent Threats

As the holiday season unfolds, homes are adorned with festive decorations, some of which can pose severe risks to pets. Dr. Schmid highlights lilies, chocolate, and xylitol as common toxins prevalent during this time. Lilies, often found in holiday bouquets, are particularly dangerous for cats and can lead to acute kidney failure. Chocolate, a holiday staple, contains substances like theobromine and caffeine that are toxic to dogs and can result in a range of symptoms, from vomiting to seizures. Xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener found in many holiday treats, can be life-threatening for dogs, causing low blood sugar and acute liver failure.

Marijuana, Medications, and Uninvited Dangers

With the legalization of marijuana in many states, THC poisoning in pets is on the rise. Dr. Schmid explains the signs of THC poisoning and emphasizes the need for quick veterinary care. Additionally, the influx of holiday visitors brings the risk of medications entering your home. Pets ingesting human medications, like in the case of Makita, an Alaskan Malamute puppy, can result in serious health issues. Guests are reminded to keep their medications out of reach to prevent accidental ingestion by pets.

Winter Storms and Icy Dangers

Dreaming of a white Christmas can become a nightmare when dealing with icy roads and sidewalks. Dr. Schmid warns that some ice melt products can be poisonous to pets. The case of Maui, a Golden Retriever puppy, serves as a cautionary tale. Ingesting ice melt can lead to severe gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system signs, requiring immediate veterinary attention.

Eggnog, Liquor, and Intoxication

Holiday indulgences like eggnog can become perilous when pets are involved. Dr. Schmid recounts the case of Kona, a dog who ingested eggnog spiked with liquor. Ethanol poisoning poses serious risks, and immediate evaluation and treatment are crucial. Kona’s story emphasizes the importance of pet owners being vigilant, especially in environments where intoxicants may be present.

A Season of Joy, Not Emergencies

As families prepare for the holidays, Dr. Schmid urges pet lovers to be extra vigilant, especially in new environments or around new people. By staying aware of potential dangers and taking proactive measures, pet owners can ensure that the holidays are remembered for joy and happiness, not emergency room visits.

Pet Poison Helpline: 800-213-6680