Holiday Pet Safety

Holiday Pet Safety

(WOIO) - You deck the halls for the holiday, but that decor is not appreciated by everyone, particularly your four-legged children. In fact, if you don't keep an eye on them, your festivities may be cut short with an emergency visit to the vet.

They may look pretty, but mistletoe and holly can be horrible for your pets, causing severe GI and cardiovascular issues. The same can be true for poinsettias, but veterinarians say they would have to eat a large amount.

"The white sap that's in the poinsettia, it's a mild irritant to the mouth and the oral cavity," says veterinarian Dr. Jae Chang.

Now to Christmas trees, real or fake. Decorations, like ornaments, can be dangerous if broken and swallowed. Tinsel and ribbon can also be tempting to playful pets.

"Cats love those crinkly sounding things and then when they swallow them, it causes the intestines to plicate or crinkle up, almost like an accordion-style," explains Chang.

Real trees are safe, but it's not OK for your pets to drink the standing tree water. That's because there's bacteria in it, which can cause major stomach upsets. So can holiday table scraps that can lead to pancreatitis in pets.

"The foods that we eat tend to be a little fattier than the dog food they're used to, so it causes the pancreas to overwork and get inflamed," says Chang.

To avoid emergency visits to the vet, Dr. Chang suggests keeping these potential holiday hazards out of the reach of four-legged family members.

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