Pet Emergencies Spike During Holiday Season: The Emergency Veterinary Staff at MedVet Chicago Recommend These 5 Tips for Keeping Pets Safe this Holiday Season
With all of the additional treats, decorations and excitement hanging around during this time of the year, it is no wonder pets can often times find themselves in a bit of trouble during the holiday season. “We typically see an increase in the number of cases involving chocolate ingestion and general gastrointestinal-related problems from pets getting into things they shouldn’t over the holidays,” said Dr. Stacia Volbrecht, emergency veterinarian at MedVet Chicago.
In order to keep pets happy and healthy this holiday season, the veterinarians of MedVet Chicago have recommended a few holiday pet health tips:
Food & Drinks: Beware of the cute begging face! Although dogs and cats may be interested in partaking in all of the seasonal treats that the holidays bring, there are several items that can be extremely toxic to pets. Pets should always be kept away from any items containing xylitol (common candy ingredient), alcohol, fatty meats, bones, and most importantly, chocolate-which can become lethal if ingested even in the smallest quantity.
Decorations: Whether you have a rambunctious young Labrador or a seemingly lazy house cat, there’s nothing quite like the shine and glimmer of holiday decorations to ignite the mischievous side of even the most well-behaved pets. With that in mind, it is always best to keep anything that may be ingested out of the reach of pets, such as tinsel and ornaments, which can become lodged within the gastrointestinal tract and require surgery to remove. Additionally, some pets will also find the flicker of a lit candle enticing and therefore should be kept out of reach to minimize the risk of burns.
Plants: Holiday plants are a great way to decorate a home, but can present real dangers, as many are toxic to pets. The level of toxicity will vary, but it is always best to keep lilies, mistletoe, holly, ivy, chrysanthemums and evergreen, to name a few, away from pets. Even non-toxic plants can still cause severe gastrointestinal upset if ingested in large quantity.
Purses and Bags: By nature, most pets tend to be curious creatures, nosing around in shopping bags and purses within reach to see what’s inside. Be sure to keep purses and bags off of the ground and out of reach of pets to minimize the ingestion risk of anything that may be toxic to pets, including medication, candy, gum, etc.
Holiday Parties and Guests: One of the great things about the holidays is the extra time spent with family and friends. Unfortunately, the increase in the number of guests and the extra excitement from holiday get-togethers can often be overwhelming to pets. If having guests over, it may be best to set up a comfortable and quiet area within the house, such as a bedroom or office, for pets to stay during the festivities. This will minimize anxiety created from knocks on the door and loud noises, as well as minimize the risk of ingestion of holiday food and beverages left out for guests.
What to do in a Pet Emergency
If a pet is experiencing a medical emergency, pet owners are encouraged to immediately contact their family veterinarian or MedVet Chicago for guidance and help. MedVet Chicago can be reached 24-hours a day, every day of the year, by calling (773) 281-7110 or in-person at 3123 N. Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60618.
About MedVet Chicago
MedVet Chicago (formerly Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center) is a 24-hour emergency, critical care and specialty animal hospital which is part of the MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets patient care family. MedVet is employee owned, veterinary led, and is leading specialty healthcare for pets. MedVet provides specialty referral services for in-depth care and patient management, as well as emergency services, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. More than 100,000 dogs and cats are treated annually at MedVet’s expanding network of medical centers across the country.
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