The Holidays are upon us and they usually involve family visits, home decorations, traveling, and great food! Our four-legged family members want to be involved just as much as everyone else, but this is also a time to be aware of the changes in their lifestyle and be ready for the occasional veterinary hospital visit.
Even the happiest of pets may be stressed around the time of the holidays. In dogs, this may result in some behavior changes or mild gastrointestinal signs. In cats, we may see lower urinary signs as well as hiding and other behavior changes. With all the excitement and activity around the holidays it is important to make sure our pets have their places to escape to where they feel safe and secure. Cats need to know that they still have free and easy access to their food, water, and litter boxes.
In addition to lifestyle changes, decorations in the home provide exciting and interesting new adventures for our pets. Some of the best decorations may be hazardous to our shorter (unless you have a Great Dane!) curious family members. Here are a few tips to make everyone happy and safe during the holidays:
- Keep the food on the counter. Certain food may be too much for our pets, and even though they are not considered “toxic” they still could result in stomach and intestinal symptoms. If you feel the need to give your pet some treats, stick to simple foods like vegetables or skinless meat (turkey, chicken) in small quantities. Sometimes these dietary changes result in some soft stool or diarrhea.
- Be aware of the decorations! Some items interest curious pets which may result in injury or accidental ingestion. Specific examples include tinsel, mistletoe, heated potpourri, and flower arrangements that may contain lilies.
- Give your pets a place to escape to if there is too much excitement in the home. This is especially important for cats.
If your pet has accidentally ingested any foreign objects or seems to be ill, it is always a good idea to contact your veterinarian. If your family veterinarian is closed you may also contact us at MarQueen Pet Emergency and Specialty. We are a 24-hour veterinary emergency and specialty hospital located near Roseville and Folsom – we serve Granite Bay, Loomis, Orangevale, Fair Oaks, El Dorado Hills, Rocklin, Cameron Park, Shingle Springs, and all areas of the foothills and Sacramento.