It never fails. Somebody's cat decided to sample a poinsettia plant, or somebody's dog chomped down on turkey bones in the garbage can. Holidays are dangerous times for pets, and it helps to know what kinds of trouble your pet could get into. It also helps to know which of your local veterinary services will be available if Fido or Fluffy do something they should not. Here are a few helpful ways to keep your pets safe this holiday season, including finding vet services on the actual holidays.
All Holiday Plants Are Toxic
All of those lovely plants used to decorate your home during Christmas and Hanukkah are toxic. Humans would have to eat large quantities of them to die, but pets only need a nibble of berries or leaves. If you still want traditional plants in the house, wrap them in cellophane with air holes at the top. This prevents overly curious pets from sampling these annual plants. Another thing you could do is to substitute these plants with large batches of catnip or parsley and mint, all of which are perfectly safe for pets, are green, and give your pet fresher breath.
Poultry and Pork Bones
Dogs absolutely will beg for the bones of that delicious smelling turkey, Christmas goose, "turducken," or glazed ham. The meats smell so good to them that they cannot help it. Some dogs are so stubborn about not getting the bones that they will fish them out of the trash when you are not looking! If you scrap the bones, take the garbage bag out right after your holiday meal to avoid unfortunate trips to the vet later. If your dog does manage to get into the trash with the bones, take note of any bones that appear splintered, and then call an animal hospital right away.
Vet Clinics Are Closed, but Animal Hospitals Are Open
Typically, most veterinary clinics are closed on the holidays, and they do not usually forward their calls. Animal hospitals are always open, especially for emergencies such as the ones listed above. Chances are, you will have to hop into your car with your pet and race to the animal hospital right away.
Your pet may be rescued, but only if the time between the unfortunate incident and arrival at the hospital is less than a few hours. For toxic plants, it is often less time than that, based on the amount ingested. For bones, it depends on whether or not the splinters stuck inside your dog on the way down. Either way, the vet on call at the hospital may still be able to rescue your pet if you act quickly.