The holidays are coming. Are you ready?

Tonya Tenters, CVT
Veterinary Information Specialist 

When we think of the holidays, there are some immediate concerns for our pets. Chocolate is always in abundance, ribbons for the kitties, and even some ornaments for the trees can pose a toxicity concern. However, what we never think about are the people coming to visit us.

In our own homes we are careful with our medications and items that we know our animals may try to get into on a daily basis. However, we have guests we don’t think of their medications or things they may pack that can pose a danger to our pets. A lot of our holiday guests are family members. These family members may be on medications that are packed in pill boxes or in the ever-handy plastic baggie. In turn medications are often left in their suitcases.

Dogs and cats tend to be very curious about new items in their environments. This will lead them to checking out a suitcase, purse, bag, etc. Dogs especially, are often the culprits that chew through pill boxes and those baggies.  This can potentially pose a health risk depending on the types of medications and how much is ingested.

In preparation for the holiday guests, take the time to talk to your guests about your pets. If you have a family or friend coming, that you know is on medication, make room in the bathroom vanity, night stand, or some other secure location for them to keep the medications. If you have a dog or cat that you know will try to get into a suitcase or bag, try to ask your guests to keep their luggage in a closet or close a bedroom door. These conversations can be difficult sometimes, but it can make for a much more enjoyable holiday if there is no trip to the emergency veterinarian.