Keep your pet safe over the holidays!


The holidays pose a number of hazards for family pets. My Schuylkill County clients have run into  more than a few problems with their dogs and cats that were unexpected, mostly due to food. Pets get sick from overeating holiday leftovers. The high fat foods can lead to life threatening pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset. Innocent handouts of toxic foods such as chocolate, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins or avocado can have disastrous results.

Even if the food isn’t offered, problems occur from pets getting into garbage or stealing food off the table. Play it safe. Secure garbage so it is pet proof. Never leave any food unsupervised with pets around. Ingestion of bones causing obstruction can ruin a holiday in a hurry.  Pets are tempted by goodies and no amount of yelling is going to keep them away. Be proactive and smart. Manage the yummies ( or your pet) so your furry friend does not have access.

Holidays are exciting times in the household. This is stressful for your pet. Keep your dog’s walks and your cat’s play time a priority. Don’t put off cleaning the litter box! Keep safety in mind with any toys or treats you buy for your pet. Some toys need supervision when your pet plays with them . Treats made in China have a history of being unsafe.

And then there are the decorations…..kitties love to climb trees. Be sure yours is well secured. Kitties also love to eat tinsel and ribbon. It’s best not to use these items in areas where cats have access. Liquid potpourri  is often toxic for pets. Lit candles are an obvious hazard . Always supervise!

Toxic plants are also on the holiday agenda. Lilies are particularly deadly. Other plants, like mistletoe and poinsettia can make a pet’s tummy sick.

Last but not least, keep your dog and your guests safe. Even the sweetest dog can get overwhelmed by guests, especially children. If you have any concerns, put the dog in a quiet room with a stuffed treat dispensing toy. Otherwise, be sure to supervise all interactions of the canine host with guests. It is your responsibility to protect your pooch from teasing uncles, hugging kids, and kissing aunts.

The team at Schuylkill Veterinary Hospital wishes you and your family a safe, happy holiday season.



Santa hat modeled by Crinkle.