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The Many Ways Holidays Can Be Hazardous For Curious Pets

Avian, Behavior, By Species, By Topic, Cats, Dogs, Exotic

Holidays fill your home with cheer, from decorations, special foods, and loved ones you see only once a year. However, your pet doesn’t know Christmas from any other day. All they know is their house is suddenly full of unfamiliar smells, strange people, and all sorts of new things to chew on.

The best way to prevent a holiday emergency is by anticipating all the ways your pet can get into trouble. Ornaments and decorations are some of the most overlooked sources of mischief. Veterinarians often hear stories of the cat climbing the Christmas tree, or having their tail hair singed by the candle burning on their favorite shelf. Puppies can get strangled in ribbons, or choke on low-hanging ornaments. Even potpourri can be toxic! Make sure your pet can’t lick up essential oils you are heating to make the house smell nice. Also, decorative plants like holly, mistletoe, amaryllis, and lilies can give your pet severe reactions, or even poison them if eaten or chewed on.

Also, your pet might escape during all the in-and-out of guests arriving and departing. If you’re worried about your animal escaping, put your cat or dog in a separate room about a half hour before your guests begin to arrive or depart. Don’t forget to give the pet a bathroom break first!

Be extra careful about what your pet eats during the holidays. Obviously, chocolate and alcohol are off limits. But did you know that turkey trimmings and pork fat can cause cats and dogs to develop acute pancreatitis? This means they will suffer from severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, don’t feed your pets anything with onions, grapes, avocados, or macadamia nuts. It might seem cruel to cut your pet out of the feast, but even seemingly benign treats could be deadly! And be sure to let your guests know not to slip your pets any table treats.

Finally, sometimes just the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is enough to induce stress for our older dogs and cats. Trying to maintain as much of the normal routine as possible will help. You might also consider sending your dog to a boarding facility if your home is going to be extra festive this year.

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic has Virginia’s finest dog boarding facilities, featuring large sweets, heated floors, and an expansive play area. Call us at 540-943-7577 to book a suite!

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet's life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia's most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you're away. We're located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. 

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