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By Dr. Isabelle DallaireVeterinarian

Christmas is less than two weeks away! I am sure the tree is up; the stockings are on the mantle and your homes are slowly turning into a bright and shiny tinsel town. As you are getting the Christmas spirit, please remember that all of your ornaments and decorations can be a whole new world of uncharted territory for your pets. Below please find 4 Pet Safety Tips for this holiday season.

Say MistleNO to Mistletoe – Mistletoe can be fun to have around but it can be extremely dangerous for pets. While it may lead to romance for us humans, if it is ingested by your pet mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal issues, vomiting and a drop in blood pressure. Other plants such as holly and lilies’ can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested by your pets.

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree – Even the best-behaved pets sometimes cannot resist the beauty of a Christmas Tree. Unfortunately, this can prove harmful for your furry friend. The water for your tree is NOT a water bowl for your pet! This water may be keeping your tree in good spirits, but it can be riddled with bacteria from pesticides and fertilizers that you do not want your pet to drink. Pine needles from the tree can damage the eyes if your pet runs into the tree as well as cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.

Deck the Halls – Ornaments, bright lights, ribbons and tinsel are just a few of the many beautiful items I am guessing are filling your homes these days. Tinsel is on the danger list for pets because of its shine that can attract even the most modest of pets. Once ingested it can cause an intestinal blockage, causing pain to your pet and possibly requiring surgery to remove. Ornaments are beautiful but they can cause harm if swallowed or chewed on. Make sure their location on your tree is out of reach from your furry friends.

Bones – As Dr. Gray discussed in her Thanksgiving Blog last month, dogs love getting their hands on bones this time of year. If they end up swallowing them it can cause an obstruction which may result in the need for an exploratory surgery. Even if it’s not an entire bone that they end up eating, smaller pieces can sometimes get stuck in the intestine. Resist your urge to give a dog a bone this holiday season.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Huffard Animal Hospital. Stay warm this holiday season and if you need a refresher on ways to keep your pet warm, too, check out Dr. Hu’s cold weather blog here. please call us at 410.768.3620 or schedule an appointment online if there is anything we can help you with.

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