Keep Your Pets Safe this Holiday Season

Otis is the handsome 18 month golden retriever pictured next to his wiser companion black labrador, Ellie. Both are patients at Tigard Animal Hospital. When not snuggling next to the fireplace they enjoy adventuring, especially trips to the Oregon Coast.

Hi, my name is Otis. Come huddle around the fireplace as I recount my yuletide tale of the year before.

As you know, the holiday season is upon us. That means lots of decorating to make our homes look festive! Which also means new items for me and other furry troublemakers to get into, chew on, or even eat. I am here to tell you that I did all of that one afternoon while my family was away. I “accidentally” (if I’m being honest it was intentionally) escaped out of my kennel and ate an old handmade ornament with metal pins. I ingested more than 50 pins from that one ornament! What can I say? I was on a roll. This sent me to two vet clinics for emergency care, with a total of five veterinarians working to save my life. I am a very fortunate puppy who gets to have fun during the winter this year because they helped save my life.

Look at my radiograph! All those lines in my abdomen are pins! So much stress and expense for pointy objects that were not even very delicious to consume. Did you know that ornaments, along with tinsel, are one of the top seasonal hazards that could send your pet to the emergency room? Other dangers to be aware of are holiday lighting, candles, gift wrap ribbon, toxic holiday plants and chocolate. This year my family, and hopefully your family will remember to be thoughtful about where and what kind of ornaments and decorations are put within reach of household pets. It might be best to not even display those types of tempting decorative baubles, especially if they are similar to the one that I ate.

This year I’m doing my best to stay off the naughty list!

Your friendly neighborhood dog, Otis, a.k.a. Pin Cushion.