Holiday season brings yuletide and cheer and at the same time excitement and commotion. It is often associated with seasonal preparations, reunions, travel and shopping. While all these are happening, our beloved pets may be in the danger zone because they are exposed to hazards that are no usually around the other times of the year.
Homes are filled with holiday spirit while pets are intrigued by the new tastes, smells and sites. The following are the most common health hazards for your house pet over Christmas.
1. Tinsel, Ribbon, Wrapping Paper, Ornaments
Ornaments, tinsel, wrapping paper, ribbons and extension cords may come off as chew toys and make your pet sick. There is something about those shiny strands that drive kittens and cats wild. The ingestion of tinsel is deadly. Eating this or other string-like items such as ribbon can also cause serious damage to your pet’s intestine. One end gets stuck and the rest is pulled into the intestine. The contractions result to the tinsel or ribbon sawing through the intestine. If this happens the infection of the belly cavity develops and the pet
becomes ill. The signs include fever, belly pain, depression, diarrhea and vomiting.
2. Holiday Lights
Lights, especially the decorative kinds, not only attract people but also the pets. For them, this is something they can chew on. Indoor and outdoor lights must be examined carefully to ensure that this is safe for household pets. Electrical shock may occur if the cords are defective. Check the cords for loose or frayed wires and bite marks. Check if these are close to water supply of if it shows signs of possible short circuits. Use the grounded “3-prong” extension cords and follow the strict guidelines for light usage. Electrical shocks cause loss of consciousness, abnormal health rhythm, difficulty in breathing and burns. It may even lead to death. If your pet has been injured by electrical shock, you have to immediately call the veterinarian. Treatment must be done after the shock.
Holidays is also synonymous to chocolates. It’s not the Holiday season without the warm cocoa and chocolate in front of the fire. However, chocolate is toxic for both cats and dogs. Some generous relatives may give these as treats to our pets. As for the curious canine, this is irresistible. Humans should know better. Chocolate poisoning occurs most frequently in dogs but other species are also susceptible. The toxic compound found in chocolate is the Theobromine. Signs may appear within one to four hours of eating chocolate. These signs include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty keeping balance, muscle spasms, seizures, coma, increased thirst, weakness, hyperexcitability which leads to death from abnormal heart rhythm.
As pet owners, we have to be responsible to pet-proof our surroundings especially during the Holiday season. We do not know what kind of a jam our pets would find themselves in if we are not constantly aware and on the lookout of the possible hazards that surround them. May we not be too busy entertaining our guests and relatives from out of town who are visiting us, to the point that we do not know that our pets are already munching on chocolates and chewing on holiday lights, ribbons and tinsels. Prevention is better than cure still holds true during the Holidays.