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Keeping The Holidays Safe

The holidays are finally here!

It`s the time of year we love to celebrate with family, friends and our pets as well! During this busy season it`s important to be on the lookout for potential hazards that could be a danger to your pet. Year after year we are reminded to keep pets away from things such as; chocolate, sugarless gum (containing Xylitol), turkey bones, gift wrap and ribbons, as we know these items are both tempting and potentially dangerous. There are many other items in and around the home that seem harmless but could prove extremely dangerous to your pet. For instance, both puppies and kittens love to play with rope toys and string, an electrical cord snaking along the floor from a Christmas tree to an electrical outlet can be easily mistaken as a favourite toy. If chewed on, cords can potentially cause severe electrical burns to your pet`s mouth or even electrocution. All pets, especially the young, should be closely supervised if cords cannot be kept out of their reach.

Many favourite holiday plants such as; mistletoe, poinsettia, peace lily, and some forced spring bulbs can not only be irritating to the mouth and stomach but some are extremely toxic if ingested.

Some seasonal scented candles and essential oils smell good enough to eat. If they smell delicious to us they undoubtedly smell irresistible to our pets. With scents like gingerbread, warm vanilla and hot coco, even the best behaved pet may find them hard to resist. Not only are unattended candles a potential fire hazard, the ingestion of candles could potentially lead to an intestinal blockage. Essential oils and liquid potpourri can actually be highly toxic both through skin exposure and ingestion causing possible liver damage. All home air fresheners should be kept well away from pets and used only under supervision.

The holidays are a time for increased socializing and gathering. Unfortunately, they are also a time when pets may stray from home. Some pets find the increased activity very stressful and may escape through an open door. Placing shy or nervous pets in a quiet room away from the festivities will help to prevent an accidental escape. Having your pet microchipped will help ensure their safe return should they stray.

Before the holidays arrive contact your veterinary hospital to find out their hours of operation. Is your veterinary hospital equipped handle afterhours emergencies or will they direct you to the veterinary emergency clinic? Do you have the phone number and directions to the emergency clinic readily available? The  veterinary emergency hospital listed below is open 24/7. The are located in London at 41 Adelaide St at the corner of Nelson St.

London Regional Veterinary Emergency and Referral Hospital 519-432-3300

Should your pet accidentally escape, do you have the number of your local animal shelter handy? In the event of accidental poisoning who would you call? We have two excellent resources available to us; The Pet Poison Helpline www.petpoisonhelpline.com 1-800-213-6680 and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center www.aspca.org/apcc 1-888-426-4435. Both toll free numbers provide emergency medical advice and their websites contain a list of common household toxins and poison safety tips.

The holidays are a joyous time of year, being prepared for an unexpected emergency will help keep the holidays stress free. We at Belmont Veterinary Services would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!!


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