Happy Holidays from all of us at El Gato Veterinary Hospital! While we may not have snow or freezing weather here in Northern California, there are still some things to consider when keeping your pet safe during the holiday season.

The excitement of the holidays for us humans can cause anxiety and stress to our pets. We have some tips on keeping them calm when things get exciting in their lives.

  • Create a safe space for your pet which can include a private room, a comfortable crate, or a special area for their dog bed where they can go and not be bothered. It’s important to make sure this area stays their special and safe place.
  • Always be aware of your pet’s mental state and if they are feeling stressed out, be sure to remove them from the situation and calm them down. They’ll be happy you cared enough to get them away from what’s worrying them.
  • If your pet is feeling stressed, it’s time to play! Throw a ball, go for a walk, or just do whatever it is you do to get some energy out! Your pet will forget all about the things that were worrying them, allowing them to reset.

Fire and burn hazards.

  • A curious pet could knock over a burning candle, causing a fire, or could stick her nose near one and burn herself.
  • Those tempting wires might look like a tasty or interesting treat to your pet, but they could deliver a potentially deadly electric shock when chewed.
  • Prevent your pet from chewing a toy with a battery in it—punctured batteries can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.

Choking hazards.

  • Those shiny ornaments might look appetizing to your pet, but the broken pieces can damage her digestive tract.
  • Cats love tinsel, but tinsel does not love cats. Swallowing tinsel and other stringy items, like yarn and ribbon, can lead to a bowel obstruction, vomiting, dehydration, and even death.
  • Give your pup a new ball that’s too big for him to swallow. Regular-size tennis balls can get lodged in the throat and block the airway.

Watch out for toxic substances!

  • If holly or mistletoe are ingested, your pet could suffer gastrointestinal upset. Mistletoe can also cause cardiovascular problems.
  • Many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.
  • Christmas tree water could contain fertilizers and bacteria that can cause nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea if ingested.
  • Chocolate, artificial sweeteners (like xylitol), fatty or spicy foods, alcohol, grapes, and other human foods can, at best, cause an upset stomach, and, at worst, be fatal, if pets consume them. Keep the human food on the human table, and give your pets some special animal-friendly holiday treats instead.
  • Human medications should be secured so pets can’t unknowingly get into them.

The entire El Gato Veterinary Hospital teams wants you and yoru furry family members to have a safe and relaxing holiday season.

Have questions? Need an appointment?

El Gato Veterinary Hospital is here to help! Contact us today.