Central Veterinary Associates Shares Pet Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

VALLEY STREAM, NY — There’s something about the holidays that gives us a warm feeling of contentment and appreciation of loved ones, such as our pets. Lights, presents, decorations and food are all common themes to our celebrations, but they’re also what contribute to pets winding up in the hospital during the holiday months. To help alleviate the pet-related holiday stress, Central Veterinary Associates is bringing good tidings to pet owners by sharing its top 12 tips for pet safety this season.

1 - Chancy Candles: Hanukkah is upon us there’s nothing more quintessential about the festival of lights than the Menorah. Tradition dictates the candles burn themselves out after eight days, but a continuously lit candles poses a potential life-threatening danger for both pets and humans. It’s important to keep your pet away from the room containing a lit Menorah, or update your Hanukkah observance by using battery-operated candles that provide a pet-safe holiday glow.

2 - Christmas Tree Cat-tastrophies: Bright lights, sparkly ornaments and smells of Christmas trees, are key elements to a cat’s curiosity and we can often find our furry friends climbing into and around it to learn more. Securely anchor the tree to keep it from knocking over onto your pet, or even small children. To avoid stomach issues for cats and dogs alike, sweep the needles frequently to avoid them from ending up in animal’s bellies. Try to also keep your pets out of the water in the tree stand and never add toxic tree preservative products to it.

3 - Toy Treachery: Animals are susceptible to choking on toys. Whether it’s your son’s dreidel, daughter’s Polly Pocket or even your dog’s favorite worn toy, your canine has the potential to swallow a small piece that can get lodged in its esophagus, stomach or intestines. Long, stringy toys are often feline’s favorite, but ribbon, yarn and loose little parts can get stuck in their intestines, requiring emergency surgery.   

4 - Keep the Beast From the Feast: Human food can often pose a threat to the health and safety of our beloved, furry friends. Chocolate gold coins or a candy-filled advent calendar are especially harmful to animals as consumption of these human sweets can cause severe toxicity. Foods high in sugar and fat can also lead to gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis.

5 - Dangerous Decorations: Cats and dogs frequently mistake baubles for playthings. So, any glass, breakable or edible ornaments should be placed high on your tree, out of the reach of your pets. Ensure that the ornaments you buy are too large to get lodged in your animal’s throat. Shards from broken ornaments are an intestinal blockage hazard and also have the potential to injure paws, mouths or other body parts.

6 - Troublesome Tinsel: Tinsel can be used to give your home or tree a touch of sparkle, but don’t use it if you have curious pets. Ingesting tinsel can block their intestinal track and lead to severe vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. It can also wrap around their intestines, which will cause major surgery.

7 - Harmful Holly: Holiday plants and pets don’t always mix well. While poinsettias have long been thought to be toxic to animals, the ASPCA reports that these plants generally lead to irritations to the mouth and stomach, with the occasional result of vomiting. Holly is the bigger culprit as it can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. When arranged as mistletoe and ingested by a pet, it can lead to gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Lilies, although beautiful, are the most extreme - if nibbled on by a cat, they can cause kidney failure. In this case, it’s important to opt instead for a faux holiday plant or choose a pet-friendly bouquet.

8 - No Ifs, Ands or Nuts: Macadamia nuts and walnuts can cause severe lethargy, fever, vomiting, tremors, joint stiffness and immobility if consumed by animals. Keep bowls of these nuts on high tabletops, out of reach of your pets.

9 - Wicked Wires: Keep wires and batteries out of paws’ reach. If chewed on, wires can deliver a potentially lethal shock and batteries can cause severe burns to the mouth and esophagus.

10 - No Pinot for the Pup: It is important to never leave your alcoholic beverages unattended in areas where pets can reach them. According to the ASPCA, alcoholic drinks have the potential to be toxic to pets. If consumed, an animal can become severely intoxicated and weak, very depressed and may go into a coma. In severe instances, death from respiratory failure can occur.

11 - Grapes and Onions and Avocados, Oh My!: Keep grapes, raisins, onions, avocados and garlic away from furry mouths. Although delicious and healthy for humans, these foods can cause lethargy, lack of appetite and vomiting for animals.

12 - Fireworks Fuss: Animals are sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells. So, during your New Year’s fireworks celebrations, it’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV on to drown out the sounds of the firecracker festivities. Cats are also vulnerable to digesting strings of thrown confetti that can get lodged in their intestines, causing the need for surgery, so be sure to forgo throwing any in homes with felines.

The Central Veterinary Associate family extends its warm wishes to pet owners and pets this holiday season. Should a pet get into any of these naughty items or anything else to raise concern this winter, contact a CVA veterinary clinic or bring them to our Valley Stream emergency service location open 24/7/365, including all major holidays.


About Central Veterinary Associates
Central Veterinary Associates is a 24-hour, full-service hospital that provides optimal small animal medicine, including exotic medicine. The main hospital is located in Valley Stream, which provides 24-hour care at its state-of-the-art facility. Central Veterinary Associates also has other convenient locations in Mineola, Great Neck, Bayside, Far Rockaway and Forest Hills. The hospital features intensive care units and intravenous infusion pumps and offers state-of-the-art radiology, endoscopy, ultrasonography, otoscopy and dentistry services. Central Veterinary Associates has over 110 staff members, including 13 veterinarians, as well as a board-certified radiologist, surgeon and internist available for consultation, a canine and feline general practice specialist and certified veterinary acupuncturist on staff. For more information, call 1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738) or visit www.centralvets.com.