Easily Avoid These Hazards for a Pet-Safe Holiday!
It’s already tough to survive the holiday season, without any illness or emergency situations for family members, including the furry ones. An emergency trip to the vet does not fit in between unwrapping gifts and eating the Christmas turkey. Do yourself a favor and pet proof your home before the holidays are in full swing. To keep your household full of holiday cheer, be informed of popular festive products and treats that can potentially have a negative affect your pets.
Sweet Treats with Xylitol Are a No!
All of the delicious treats that come in from house guests and office gifts should be keep away from pups. The trend is “sugar free”, which many of these products contain Xylitol, which is a sugar substitute that is extremely toxic to dogs. According to the VCA, “Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs.” In addition, milk chocolate and specifically dark chocolate, contain caffeine which can cause an upset stomach or seizures.
Holiday Cheer: Minus the Alcohol for Pets!
Any boozy holiday eggnog or alcoholic drinks are to be kept out of reach of lapping tongues. A large consumption can lead to an upset stomach, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea…just like it would a human.
Human Food: Fatty Food Is Bad for Pets
Any rich and fatty foods can do a number on your pups insides. Table Scraps and leftover bones are a big no no. The biggest threat is pancreatitis, which is caused by overconsumption of fatty food and can be life threatening. Dogs or cats can choke on bones or if ingested can splinter the intestinal tract. Warn your guests to refrain from feeding your pet table scraps.
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire: Keep Flames Away from Pets
Burning candles that decorate the dinner table or Menorahs lit in the window can easily be knocked over from a pet passing by. A warm and cozy log fire can be alluring to a cold cat looking to snuggle up. Never leave your pet alone with an open flame. Although they are not as pretty, switching to flameless candles would avoid any accidents.
Boughs of Holly:
Check out these holiday plants that can affect your cat or dog. Certain species of holly and mistletoe can cause liver failure or seizures while others can cause an upset stomach. Essential oils or liquid potpourri can be harmful to dogs, as it can burn the skin or mouth. Also, lilies are extremely toxic to cats, any ingestion in the smallest amount can be fatal. “Without prompt treatment, most cats will become extremely ill and develop kidney failure within 36 to 48 hours of ingestion.” Contrary to popular believes, Poinsettias are not deadly, but can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach if leaves or stems are chewed or ingested.
Oh, Christmas Tree!
Is your kitty a climber? Leave your Christmas tree up for a few days without decoration to let your pets check out this beautifully smelling tree. Try securing the top of the tree to the ceiling to prevent it from falling over from any investigating animals. Be sure to avoid tree fertilizer, as it can be poisonous to pets, and cover the tree stand if it’s open to avoid them drinking the liquid. This stagnant water in the tree stand can be very dangerous; read our blog post on keeping cats safe during the holidays for more information on Christmas trees and pesticides!
Trimming the Tree: Christmas Tree Decorations Can Be Dangerous!
Shiny tinsel, ribbon, and ornaments are beckoning kitties to play. If ingested by your pet, it can be very harmful to their intestinal tract, getting stuck, or even worse, tangled inside. If you see any string or sign of ribbon coming out of one end or the other, do not pull. Immediately take your pet to the vet, the material may have to be surgically removed. Other signs of ingestion can be lack of appetite and upset stomach. Also, broken glass ornaments can cause cuts or scratches. It is best to keep decorations out of reach of playful paws or nosey noses.
Bustle of the Holiday Season:
House guests, holiday parties, and abnormal activity in your home can be stressful for your pet. Make sure they are kept out of the way and have a quiet safety zone to retreat to. Be sure your guests know how to correctly interact with your pets, especially children with eager hands who are eye-level with dogs. Keep an eye out for signs of distress such as lack of appetite, uneasiness, and bathroom accidents .
May All Your Christmases be Bright
Most families deck the halls with strands of lights inside and out. Electric cords need to be unplugged any time you leave the house. It would be unpleasant for anyone to chew on the cords, causing burns, seizures, electrocution, and possibly death.
Let’s keep Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever holiday you are celebrating the most wonderful time of the year. Take precaution in your home when preparing for the holiday season and protect your pets!
For more information on pet poison control check out the following information provided by the VCA:
“Pet Poison Helpline, is an animal poison control service available 24 hours, 7 days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet – including birds! Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at www.petpoisonhelpline.com. Pet Poison Helpline is not directly affiliated with LifeLearn.”
A founding member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, writing copy, and managing events. She also fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix and Nutmeg the Chiweenie.