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Seven Holiday Hazards That Your Pet Doesn't Want to Encounter This Christmas

Winter should be a fun, festive time, but there is one thing that can wreak havoc on your holiday: a veterinary emergency. Take care to prevent potential risks and dangers from hurting your pet this time of year, and avoid trips to the vet hospital during your celebrations. Keep your pet safe and healthy with some simple tips and suggestions.

Seven hazards facing your pet during the holiday season are:

1. Uncooked turkey. Don't leave poultry on the kitchen counter near unattended pets who may try to eat it. Cats especially are attracted to raw poultry and may risk contracting e-coli or severe illness.

2. Leftover bones. Anytime you toss bones in the trash, your pets could find them and try to consume these tasty leftovers. Be sure to wrap and discard bones carefully, so that pets don't have access and run the risk of choking.

3. Tinsel on the tree. Silvery tinsel that is often put on holiday trees is dangerous for cats and dogs. Some varieties are made from glass, and they can cut your pet when they try to lick or eat this alluring decoration. The tinsel will also block the intestinal tract, which means severe, life-threatening constipation for your pet.

4. Candy and treat wrappers. When kids leave stocking treats, candies, and small wrappers within reach, your pet could choke. Make sure to remind everyone to toss these goodies and packages away in the proper receptacle, preferably one with a lid.

5. Toxic treats. Be wary of foods that are toxic for pets, including coffee, chocolate, and wine. When serving these on your holiday menu, avoid indulging your pets and keep your plates and glasses away out of reach.

6. Fires and fireplaces. Candles, fireplaces, and wood-burning stoves are as dangerous for your pet as they are for humans. Pets may knock over candles or get too close to your fireplace, which could burn them and start a fire in your home. Never leave an open flame unattended.

7. Chilly weather. Remember when temperatures dip to bring your pets in. Keep paws covered on long walks and insulate any outdoor shelter that your pet may spend time in.

Ensure that your holiday goes off without a hitch by paying attention to potential risks for your pets. Use these suggestions and talk to a veterinarian like Robert Irelan DVM for more tips to prevent trips to the emergency vet during winter vacation and Christmas parties. Enjoy knowing that your pet is a safe and happy member of the family during this special time of year!