As the Holidays Wind Down, Remember Your Pets

Christmas Day has come and gone, but the holiday season lingers for another week or so, with New Year’s Eve soon upon us and festive decorations remaining in place for a few more days before returning to storage.Puppies

Animal-care experts say that the post-Christmas period presents particular dangers to your pets, so please take a moment to ensure their safety and well-being.

Some cats and dogs, for example, may mistake the pan at the base of a Christmas tree as an extra water bowl. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and pets could end up with nausea or diarrhea if the water isn’t kept fresh — or hidden.

Is there any leftover holly or mistletoe within pets’ reach? Both can cause pets to suffer a variety of gastrointestinal problems if swallowed. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.

When taking down a Christmas tree, be sure your cat doesn’t get a mouthful of stray tinsel. Sparkly tinsel can cause a blocked digestive tract, vomiting, and dehydration and could  require your feline to have surgery.

New Year’s Eve parties present another set of concerns.

Fatty and spicy food are for humans, not dogs and cats. The same goes for cocktails, beer, and wine. Put unattended alcoholic drinks where curious pets cannot access them. Alcoholic beverages can cause your pet to become ill and in extreme cases can prove fatal.

And keep in mind that like tinsel, strings of thrown confetti can become lodged in a cat’s intestine if swallowed, perhaps requiring surgery.

Finally, remember that some pets are terrified by fireworks, poppers, and other celebratory noises. If you’re hosting a party, please reserve a quiet space or separate room for your pet.

(Image: Flickr/Sebastián Dario)

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