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Tips for a Paw-fectly Safe Holiday Season

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Holiday Survival Tips, Pet Edition

The holidays are a particularly hazardous time for pets. While most pet parents know to keep their dogs and cats away from the usual suspects like raisins, grapes, and dark chocolate, some may not be aware of the dangers of coffee grounds and coffee beans.  And did you know that thiosulphate, a chemical found in onions, is extremely toxic to dogs and cats? Cooked or raw, even a small amount can lead to toxicity called hemolytic anemia, or red blood cells bursting. It sounds terribly painful; let’s not put our pets through that!

Pet Holiday Safety Tips in the Kitchen:

  • Don’t Let Your Dog Go Nuts: Walnuts and macadamia nuts are also extremely toxic. Ingesting just a bit may render your dogs unable to stand, elevate their heart rates, induce vomiting and tremors, and may lead to shock.
  • Nutmeg: High levels of this popular holiday spice are fatal for your dogs with symptoms running from seizures, to tremors, leading to death.
  • High Fat Foods: Keep the table scraps to a minimum. Delicious morsels like crispy turkey skin, which is covered in marinade, spices, and butter, can be difficult to digest and have led to pancreatitis and indigestion.
  • Alcohol: Keep your dog away from alcohol.  The hops in beer are especially deadly to dogs.
  • Raw Bread Dough: It can actually rise in your dog’s stomach! The yeast in the dough ferments it, producing alcohol, which can cause alcohol toxicity.
  • Baking Soda or Baking Powder: If your dog ingests these powders, it can cause muscle tremors and congestive heart failure. Pick up those spills immediately!

There’s more. Common holiday décor items such as tinsel, garlands, and snow globes can cause major problems if ingested.  Make sure your dog steers of clear of consuming pine needles or Christmas tree water.

Remember to maintain their routines: It’s important to keep your pet comfortable during the holidays in order to avoid trauma or accidents. That means maintaining their routines, and making sure they get plenty of attention and exercise. Keep them tired so they remain happy. Make sure you have invested in their training before this busy season hits. They need to know important commands like “leave it” in case you drop something poisonous to them on floor. They should also know how to behave well around guests.

Important Contact Information: Store your vet’s contact information on your phone as well as emergency afterhours pet information, because that’s when the problems seem to occur. You may also want to keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center phone number stored. They are a great resource for animal poison-related emergencies available 24 hours a day. Their phone number: (888) 426-4435.

Do your pets need some extra love post-hectic holiday season?

While you’re busy with the hustle and bustle of holiday madness, don’t forget to give your pets plenty of attention. If you’re too busy, call Equipaws Pet Services- we’re happy to give your pups a midday walk!

Image: Scott Chene


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