The holiday season is filled with food, family, and many people coming in and out of the house, so we need to be aware of open doors and how our pets may react to people they do not know.  This time of year can be very stressful for pets so if needed, a quiet place of their own where they can retreat will help them stay safe and comfortable.

As the leaves start falling and it get colder, the hustle and bustle of the holidays is not far behind.  Three upcoming holidays are of concern regarding pet health:

  1. Halloween.  Keeping your pet safe from Halloween treats is an almost full time job as there always seems to be a bowl of candy by the front door, by the TV or stashed away in a child’s room to keep it away from an older siblings.  Our petsHalloween have great noses and tend to find these treats and often eat candy and wrappers whole.  It is always a good idea to keep a watchful eye on where we leave our Halloween candy and treats.
  2. Thanksgiving is all about food, family and more food.  Oh the stories we have heard!  One personal story I have is one year we set the ham on the deck in the roaster to cool for a bit while we waited for the turkey to finish, but the dog was inThanksgiving the backyard and he ended up being the only one to get ham that day.  Another serious problem is when the dogs or cats find turkey or goose scraps that are placed in the kitchen or outside in the garage and eat the bones and fat.  This can cause not only stomach and intestinal upset, but the pet can also get constipated because of all the bones.  In order to avoid any gastrointestinal problems, the pets should be watched around all pies, treats, food and also the well-meaning relatives that may be feeding them food that they are not used to.
  3. Christmas and New Years are a crazy time of year again with lots of new people and food in the house.  Some common Christmas decorations are potentially Christmasharmful to pet, such as, toxic mistletoe, Christmas trees that may tip over, embellished ribbons that cats like to eat and many others.  With all of these exciting things in the home, we may need to confine the pets or pick things up before they get tangled in them or ingest something they shouldn’t.

As the holidays approach be aware that many of the above things are going to be present in your home and we need to take a little extra time to keep our pets safe so that they also can have a great holiday season.

Dr. Rodney Gigstad, DVM