Tis the season to be jolly, with bright lights and decorations galore. But don’t forget our four-legged friends when decking those halls. These helpful holiday pet safety tips will make sure everyone enjoys this festive season.
The Christmas Tree
Christmas trees can be problematic for pets. If your tree is not secured properly, a cat or dog can knock it over. Water from your holiday tree can also pose problems. Often, the tree water may contain fertilizers or tree preservatives which can lead to stomach upset. Pine needles are also dangerous if swallowed. Pine needles can be sharp and have the potential to puncture intestines. Ornaments are always a tempting plaything for dogs and cats. Best to make sure they are secure on your tree before they become a choking hazard.
Candles, menorahs and any open-flame objects should be kept far out of your pets’ reach and never left unattended.
Tinsel, Ribbons and Ornaments
Tinsel is a huge temptation for our pets – especially cats. Ingesting tinsel or ribbon can not only lead to stomach upset, but it can get wrapped around our pets’ intestines causing major health problems which may require surgical intervention. Wrapping paper and glass ornaments may also pose threats. If eaten, these foreign substances can cause depression, stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea, if not naturally passed. Glass ornaments can cause internal bleeding if shards make internal cuts.
Holly, evergreens and mistletoe are common holiday plants that are toxic to your pets. Poinsettia, though not truly poisonous, can cause gastric upset if its sap is ingested.
Electrical cords are another potential holiday hazard. Pets sometimes find it appetizing to chew on them which can give them a harmful jolt, burns, abnormal heartbeat and in worse-case scenarios, death. All cords should be secured and out of the way.
Sweets and Treats
Nothing is more tempting than slipping your pet some holiday treats from the table. Remember that people food can upset your pet’s stomach and some foods can even cause major illness or death. Keep fatty foods like turkey or ham down to a minimum and totally avoid onions, onion powder, grapes, raisins and chocolate. Best rule of thumb is to keep people food for people, and if in doubt, don’t share!