Christmas Packages & Potential Danger for Pets

This holiday season many of us may not be able to be in the presence of our loves ones and are instead choosing to ship and send our presents instead. With more packages than ever before being mailed, with potentially unknown contents, this can pose a new risk to our pets!

Cats like to chew on ribbons and packing tape. If they are swallowed, then there may be a risk for vomiting and developing a linear foreign body. This is a particularly dangerous type of obstruction because once stuck, the ribbon becomes taught and acts like a saw against the side of the intestine.  Cats with this type of obstruction are good at hiding their illness and may continue to eat and drink for some time.  Keep your presents stored away until the big day or shy away from wrapping with long ribbons or wire edged ribbons.

Cookies and chocolates may be delicious gifts, but your dog will certainly find them before you do. Dogs tearing open and ingesting the contents of wrapped food item presents from under the Christmas tree are a common call during the holiday season.  This can be an unexpected emergency when those gifts contain ingredients like chocolate or are baked with items such as raisins.  Potentially even more of an issue when the owner of the pet does not know what was in the package because it was a gift from someone.

Don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones to at least tell you if they are sending you a gift of food so you can keep it out of reach. These gifts should be placed up off the floor and out of your dog’s reach to help prevent accidental ingestions and serious health issues from occurring.  Should a wrapped present ingestion still occur, make every attempt to accurately identify what the package contained and call Pet Poison Helpline® for further assessment of the situation and for medical advice for your pet.