Awareness ! The holiday season can turn dangerous for pets, safety victims of their master’s excesses. Veterinary emergency watch.
It goes without saying that there are no end-of-year family celebrations without good food and parties around a well-stocked table. But you might not suspect it, the confectioners’ truce could prove fraught with threats for the animals who share your daily life… and your meals.
Veterinarian Anaïs Lamoureux, specialist in internal medicine at AniCura Nordvet veterinary hospital, sounds the alarm. “On Christmas Eve, owners of cats and dogs must be particularly attentive. Many of them encourage their pets to taste the Christmas meal, even though it generally contains foods that they strongly advise against. The chocolate or even the raisins in Christmas desserts, for example, are poisonous to dogs and can damage their organs and even prove fatal,” warns the specialist. When they don’t accidentally come across a dumpling hash left behind in cheers…
More generally, Christmas meals contain too much fat and salt, which is harmful to the health of cats and dogs. In short, if you want to please them, it’s better to offer them feasts specially designed for them… after asking your vet for advice. This will avoid putting pressure on emergency situations, which, like in humans, are more in demand during this period, especially in cases of poisoning. But it is not only food poisoning that is dangerous. There are also animals injured by decorations hung on the tree, burned by garlands or candles, or even electrocuted.
Chocolates, sweets, decorations… at Christmas, veterinary emergencies on deck to treat cats and dogs
Chocolate or even raisins are poisonous…
“As soon as I put up the Christmas tree, my cat comes around, maybe attracted by the smell,” says Olivier, a Toulousian who has remained faithful to the real tree he cut with an axe. And once he got off balance and knocked over the tree that buried him, luckily without too much damage. He got off with a good scare. Accidents that can also turn out very badly. As for this cat that peed on a garland that pulled on the ground and took a 220 volt shock! “In general, you have to be careful with everything that is within their reach, emphasizes Anaïs Lamoureux. Ribbons, decorative figures or even Christmas balls are sometimes ingested by our pets and can lead to more or less serious internal problems and surgical interventions. And you must take care of everything. Even flowers used on tables as decorations can be poisonous to your dogs and cats. This is especially the case for the poinsettia, whose water is also harmful to health. And finally, last but not least, handle fireworks and other fireworks with consideration. “Unfortunately, every year we have several cases of animals injured and traumatized due to reckless gestures,” laments Anaïs Lamoureux. No drunkenness, mind them!
Top ten dangers to avoid
Among the most common problems our little friends encounter at holiday time, veterinarians first identify chocolate poisoning. Then comes the consumption of plants such as poinsettia or fir needles or poisoning by consuming nuts, onions or other foods. So much for poisoning, but you also need to be wary of burns from, say, candles or electrical damage. Also be aware of the intake of foreign objects such as angel hair, garlands, Christmas balls or even toothpicks… Scented candles are also particularly popular with our tomcats and doggies. You should also know that salt poisoning is dangerous and more serious is the consumption of grapes, which can be fatal. Finally, it is your responsibility, be careful when handling the fireworks!