Keeping your four-legged family members safe during the holidays In Philadelphia can be a difficult task. There are the ornaments, holiday plants, presents, lights, tinsel, and the Christmas tree!  That’s why our Veterinarians at Philadelphia Animal Hospital have put together a few simple steps that will allow your pet to join in the holiday fun this year, while avoiding any trips to our emergency room.

If a live tree is one of your family traditions, be sure to keep the area free and clear of pine needles. While they may not seem dangerous, the pine needles can puncture your pet’s intestines if ingested. Place your Christmas tree in a corner, blocked off from your pet’s curious eyes. For added safety, try placing aluminum foil, a plastic drink bottle filled with pebbles, or any other noise maker to the tree’s bottom limbs. This contraption can give you an extra warning if your pets get nosey!

Decorations are another issue! Tinsel can add a nice shiny touch to the tree, but is dangerous for your pets! Ingesting the tinsel can potentially block their intestines, which is generally only remedied through surgery. Make sure you hang it up out of your pet’s reach or do not use it at all. And keep those lights up on the high branches! Not only can your pet get tangled up in the lights, they are a burning hazard and if chewed on your pet may be in store for the shock of his life!

And speaking of trees and plants – beware of what your pooch or kitty is nibbling on! Pine needles, poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe can all be toxic to your pets! Read this article for further signs and symptoms of plant toxicity and call us at Philadelphia Animal Hospital immediately if you notice your pet behaving strangely!

Are you doing the hosting for a big holiday feast? Be cautious of self-cleaning ovens! The fumes are deadly to all birds so be sure if you have an avian pet, that they are removed from the room (or even the house!) until the cleaning is complete. Be sure sure to check the manual on your oven to be sure you’re taking the right steps in keeping your pet safe!

Those sweets are no treat for your babies. Chocolate, in a large enough quantity can be fatal to dogs. Be sure you don’t have any little ones dropping their candies around where a pet is liable to pick it up.

With guests coming and going out of your house, an open door can be an opportunity for adventurous pets to escape, especially in Philadelphia where many Row Homes border on on heavily trafficked roads. Make sure you pay careful attention to where your pooch or kitty is – even if hosting is your primary hat!

Philadelphia Animal Hospital wants you to go crazy decorating and sprucing up your home for the holidays. Use these tips, and you can do it in a way that is safe for your pets so all of you all can have a happy and healthy New Year!