This year's resolution: a happy, healthy and safe holiday season for our pets!
Many New Year's celebrations are, simply put, not pet-safe nor are they pet-friendly. Be respectful of your guests' or host's wishes when it comes to the addition of your pet to the festivities. Consider leaving your pet in the care of a sitter or at a boarding facility if the occasion is potentially too stressful for them.
Watch Their Diet
Do not allow friends and relatives to give your pet special treats. It could ruin everyone's holiday. Pets should never be offered human foods or drinks, this can lead to gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis, kidney or liver damage, or even death.
- Some foods are toxic, such as: onions and garlic (which can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage) and grapes/raisins (which can cause kidney failure).
- Others contain toxic components, such as: methylxanthines, caffeine, theophylline and theobromine found in coffee, tea and chocolate (methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death) and xylitol, a sweetener found in gum, candy, packaged baked goods, etc. (which can cause hypoglycemia, liver failure and death)
- Alcohol and pets do not mix. When pets drink a person's alcoholic beverage that was left within reach, or one that was given to them intentionally, it can cause a significant toxicity problem including staggering, excitement, or decreased reflexes. Symptoms can even lead to life-threatening central nervous system depression, such as a slow respiratory and cardiac rates, which can potentially lead to cardiac arrest.
- If you plan to take your pet with you during holiday visits, make sure that your pet is welcome first (with all the activity or family members who may be allergic to your pet, it may be better to board your pet or hire a pet sitter).
- Always be sure your pet is wearing a current identification tag on their collar (a city/county dog license or Rabies tag is no substitution for a proper ID tag with your current address and phone number).
- Always take a copy of your pet's medical records with you when you travel, should your pet require emergency treatment while you're away from home.