Pet Safety First For The Holidays


Whitecourt, Alberta, Canada  – Many of the decorations and treats we enjoy during the holidays can be toxic to our pets. Dr. Jaime Lecky, a Veterinarian at the Whitecourt Clinic offers some tips and advice for pet owners.

According to Dr. Leckey, people food may be bad for your pet. “Some food is very dangerous but most people food is just unhealthy for your pet, even if it doesn’t kill them. The best advice is to just avoid giving your pet any people food.”  Many pet owners give in to their pets begging over the holidays and provide them with table scraps which can make them sick.

“Chocolate and the darker the chocolate, the more harmful it is to your pet, says Lecky, chocolate contains theobromine, which is harmless to humans, but toxic to pets.”

“Grapes and raisins, according to Dr. Lecky, “are also harmless to humans, but can cause kidney failures in pets. Raisins are more potent than grapes, but both should be avoided. If a pet is suspected of ingesting some, get your pet to the vet immediately.”

“Meat can contain small bones that can rupture the digestive track of most pets” says Lecky, “even meat, which looks like it contains no bones, could contain bone splinters, which could seriously harm a pet.”

As we decorate for Christmas many pet owners forget how harmful their colorful displays can be to their pets. “Decorations could also pose a problem for your pet,” said Lecky. “A Christmas tree looks like a wonderful thing to a cat or dog, and they could be tempted to investigate further.” Not to mention that if your tree is live and needs water, the water container should be covered to avoid having your pet take a drink.

Items like tinsel should be avoided, they can be ingested and wrap around your pets organs causing various problems. Fake snow can be toxic to pets. “Poinsettias, though pretty for the holiday season, are actually poisonous to pets,” said Lecky. “They should be kept where a pet cannot get them, or avoided all together because ingestion of this plant can cause stomach irritation and vomiting.”

Our pets are like family members and need to be protected. Due to the often hectic pace of life during the holidays, it’s too easy to ignore the things that can be harmful to our pet. So this holiday season, take the time to make your home safe for your pet.