Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas will be here before we know it, so what better time than now to review holiday pet safety? Callie the feisty calico cat, Frank the goofy hound, and Constance the obedient schnauzer are about to start their household meeting on that exact topic. Let’s listen in.
Callie: I would like to call this meeting to order. Is everyone accounted for? Frank? Frank? Stop staring out the window at that squirrel and pay attention! Frank? Constance, close the curtains so Frank will focus.
Frank: Hey, I was watching that squirrel. You are no fun at all, Callie!
Howl-o-ween safety for pets
Callie: OK. Now that everyone—ahem, Frank—is listening, we need to discuss the upcoming holidays. First on the agenda is Howl-o-ween.
Frank: I love Howl-o-ween! The little people carry around buckets full of tasty treats, and the big humans have a huge basket of tasty goodness right next to the door. Last year, I was in stealth mode and stole so much candy.
Callie: And then you threw up all over my favorite bed and had diarrhea everywhere. You are lucky you didn’t eat enough chocolate to land you in the hospital, and that none of the wrappers stuck in your stomach or intestines.
Frank: Oh, it was totally worth it!
Callie: Constance, make a note to remind the owners to keep all How-o-ween candy away from Frank’s big mouth.
Frank: And people come to the door! This year, I am going into stealth mode again, and sneak out the door so I can visit all the neighbors.
Callie: First of all, Frank, you weigh 90 pounds, and you stomp around the house like an elephant wearing tap shoes, so I don’t know why you think you have a stealth mode. Second of all, you shouldn’t try to sneak off because you might get lost or hit by a car. Constance, remind our owners to put Frank’s collar on and check that his microchip information is up-to-date. Maybe they should put him in the den with a toy if he doesn’t think he can behave himself.
Turkey Day safety for pets
Callie: Next item of business is Turkey Day.
Frank: I love Turkey Day, too. So much yummy food to steal. And people come to visit.
Callie: OK, Constance, can you make a list of things the owners need to keep away from Frank? Ready? Here it is:
- Toxic or dangerous foods — Frank is not allowed to have anything with grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, or chocolate, which are all toxic to dogs. He also should not have any turkey drippings or other high fat foods, because they can cause pancreatitis, where his pancreas gets angry and makes him extremely sick.
- Drinks — Frank is forbidden to drink any alcohol or coffee. I can only imagine what a drunk or caffeinated Frank would be like, but all joking aside, those things could land him in the hospital.
- Bags and purses — Frank is notorious for sticking his big nose in people’s bags, and we don’t want him to help himself to any medications or xylitol-containing products like sugar-free gum.
- Garbage — Foil, wrappers, and toxic or dangerous foods can all end up in the garbage bag, and if Frank eats them, he may get sick, or have a stomach or intestinal blockage that could require surgery.
Frank: Ugh, Callie. How is a dog supposed to have any fun? You will probably tell our owners not to let me go off on any adventures when the guests are coming in, too.
Christmas safety for pets
Constance: I’m taking over for this part of the meeting, because Callie can’t be trusted with the “month of the tree, with all the sparkly thingies,” and Frank isn’t much better.
Callie: What? Staging a mutiny? How dare you?
Constance: Callie, you did almost die last year when you decided to eat the tinsel on the tree, and it stuck in your intestines.
Callie: Oh, I was hoping you had forgotten. It was so sparkly. And wiggly. I pounced on it, and the rest is embarrassing history. This year, I won’t swallow it.
Constance: This year, I will tell the owners to forget any tree tinsel. Also, no glass ornaments for Frank to knock off with his tail, because last year one shattered and Frank cut his foot. Oh, and they should probably put the tree in a corner and attach it to the wall, so neither of you knock it over with your shenanigans.
Frank: Can I at least drink the tree water? Lick the lights? Have my own Christmas dinner?
Constance: No, no, and no. Tree water could have dangerous additives, bacteria, or fungi, and licking lights or chewing electrical cords could burn your tongue or electrocute you. Christmas dinner has the same rules as Turkey Day. Sounds like our owners better have the numbers for Burlington Veterinary Center, Pet Poison Helpline, and ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center handy, in case you conveniently forget the rules.
Frank: Fine. I get it. Be boring, and behave yourself, blah blah blah.
Callie: Alright, meeting adjourned. Constance will type up the meeting minutes and distribute them so no one—yes, Frank, I am looking at you—can say they didn’t know the rules. Let’s try to have a safe holiday season, with minimal mishaps. Oh, for the last time Frank, I will not dress up like a parrot and ride on your shoulder, so you can be a pirate for Howl-o-ween.
We hope this will be a safe and healthy holiday season for you and your pet. However, if your pet makes a poor holiday decision, like Frank and Callie, contact our Burlington Veterinary Center team for expert, compassionate help.