Holiday Tips for Pet Owners

The holiday season is often the most joyous time of the year. However, joy can turn to tragedy if simple precautions are not taken to ensure the safety of your pets.

Teresa Chavez, owner of Montgomery County Pet Sitters, a local professional pet sitting service, warns her clients and local pet owners that simple holiday traditions, such as trimming the tree and decorating the house, can pose potential problems to pets if not monitored carefully.

“Much like toddlers, pets are attracted to bright lights, shining ornaments and dangling tinsel,” Chavez explains. “Pet owners should be aware that many holiday decorations can be hazardous to their pets.”

Food is another culprit for some of the most common holiday pet emergencies.

To ensure a happy and safe holiday season for you and your pets, Chavez recommends that pet owners be cautious of the following:

  • Dark and baker’s chocolate. While milk chocolate is not poisonous, it will cause your pet to have an upset stomach. On the other hand, dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate contain high levels of theobromine and caffeine. Animals are extremely sensitive to both and ingesting either type of chocolate could be fatal.
  • Xylitol. This sugar substitute causes a dog’s blood sugar to drop quickly. This poisoning can be treated, but causes liver failure if not treated properly.
  • Macadamia nuts. Dogs experience severe weakness in their back legs, appearing paralyzed, after ingesting macadamia nuts. Dogs usually recover from this condition within three days.
  • Avocados. Avocados pose a serious threat to birds. Avocados cause respiratory distress in birds, causing fluid to build up in their lungs.
  • Bread Dough. When bread dough is ingested it continues to rise, causing an intestinal blockage.

If your pet ingests any potentially harmful product, call your vet or a local emergency animal hospital immediately.

Montgomery County Pet Sitters offers pet owners these helpful hints to keep pets out of danger, while still enjoying the food, fun and festivities that accompany the holidays.

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