Holiday Hazards

Ask the Vet: Holiday Hazards | 假日危機

Q&A with Dr Pauline Taylor, BVM&S MACVSc


At holiday and festival times there are many goodies around that can cause hazards for our pets. Most visits to emergency veterinary treatment clinics are caused by things dogs or cats eat.

Holiday goodies include many foods with a high fat content. These are wonderful for causing upset tummies. Raisins, grapes and onions are toxic to our small pets leading to blood abnormalities and renal failure.

Sweet items that contain artificial sweeteners can be toxic and chocolate leads to seizures and heart problems.

Flowers and plants are also dangerous to our pets. Lilies, all parts of them, are FATAL to cats causing renal failure, mistletoe causes diarrhoea and the ever present poinsettia in abundance around us at present can cause mild irritation to lips and mucous membranes in addition to gastroenteritis.

Anxious animals perhaps upset by the “going-ons” around them may turn to objects to chew to release their stress. A form of displacement behavior. These can include cables and cords belonging to festive lights or lanterns, paper, candles and coming up to CNY even Lai See packets! The problem with the laisee packets is that you also loose the contents of the laisee into your pet’s digestive system so be extra careful with them.

When strangers come around, and in particular if your dog or cat isn’t used to visitors, it is a good idea to shut your pet out the way in a safe room or cage/basket. They will be much happier and you can relax too.

And remember as the weather gets colder our pets feel the difference in temperature too. They can get hypothermia so they need warm shelters at all times and fresh clean water every day. Finally be sensible letting pets access other potential poisons, cleaning detergents and miscellaneous chemicals you may use. The classic one, uncommon I’m pleased to say in HK, is anti-freeze which attracts animals to lick it leading once again to renal failure.

Hopefully if you keep these hazards in mind and away from your pets you will all have a great holiday season.











Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *