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Beware of holiday hazards for pets

With the holiday season upon us, it is important to remember to keep your pet safe. Some of our favorite holiday treats and decorations can be hazardous to our pets.
Chocolate: All forms of chocolate can be harmful to your pet, especially dark chocolate. Even small amount of dark chocolate can cause problems from vomiting to cardiac arrhythmias.
Bones: Small bones from chicken and turkey can splinter and cause damage to the intestinal tract, while larger bones can get stuck in the esophagus.
Other foods: It is tempting to share our holiday dinner with our pets, but offering foods that are high in fat content can cause an inflammation in the pancreas leading to vomiting and potentially other complications.
Holiday plants: Holly, Lilies and Mistletoe are all toxic to dogs and cats, so make sure they are out of reach. Lilies are especially toxic to cats and can lead to renal failure if ingested.
Ribbons and Tinsel: Both of these items are very attractive to playful cats, but if ingested may lead to intestinal obstructions. Other items that can cause blockage or trauma to the gastrointestinal tract include ornaments and decoration hooks.
Candles: Pets should be closely watched around lit candles. Those placed lower on coffee or end tables can be knocked off accidentally by a wagging tail resulting in a fire or burns to the pet. Nothing is out of reach to a curious cat, so what may seem to be out of harm’s way may not be. With cats, you will have to be extra vigilant.
Balloons/Streamers: Again these are common items that can be both a choking, as well as, an intestinal obstruction risk if ingested.
Loud noises: With the noise makers, music and even fireworks, New Years can be a loud holiday. Some pets can be very sensitive or even frightened of loud noises. Consider keeping pets in a separate room away from the noise or even boarding them at a kennel for the day or overnight.
We hope your holiday season is filled with happiness and joy and no trips to the emergency room. If for some reason you do have an emergency, know that Central Veterinary Associates is open 24/7 including ALL holidays. Call us at 1-888-4-CVA-PET with any questions and/or concerns. We can even arrange for you to take a tour of our state of the art Veterinary Hospital in Valley Stream.

Dr. Jennifer Emmerich is a staff veterinarian at Central Veterinary Associates, PC.

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