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Tips for a Paw-fectly Safe Holiday Season

Pet Holiday Safety Tips

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.  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! Read on for some tips on pet holiday safety!

Pet Holiday Safety Tips in the Kitchen:

  • Don’t Let Your Dog Go Nuts: Macadamia nuts are extremely toxic to pets. Ingesting just a bit may render them unable to stand, elevate their heart rates, induce vomiting and tremors, and may lead to shock. Moldy walnuts are also bad for pets, and eating an excess of normal walnuts may be too much fat for them!
  • 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 and cooked bones: 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. We already know that cooked bones may cause obstructions and lacerations in our kitties and pups.
  • Bleu Cheese: This and Stilton gets its own mention as the fungus used to make it produces roquefortine C, which can affect some dogs. They will experience vomiting, diarrhea, and some may have even seizures depending on the amount ingested. Keep this away from pets and take your dog to the vet if you see these signs after your pet ingests this cheese!
  • Alcohol: Keep your pets away from alcohol. Pets aren’t naturally drawn to cocktails, but accidents happen (one of our clients’ pups loved Baileys- oh boy). Dogs may like fruit-based or creamy drinks. Be especially careful with diet alcoholic beverages or mixers with Xylitol, an artificial sweetener which is highly dangerous, and even fatal, if consumed by a dog.  Also, the hops in beer are especially deadly to dogs, so keep any hops (used or not) away from your pets if you’re a home brewer.
  • 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 pet ingests these powders, it can cause muscle tremors and congestive heart failure. Pick up those spills immediately!

There’s more. Common holiday décor items that cats love to play with and possibly ingest (such as tinsel, garlands) can cause lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.  And snow globes can cause major problems if ingested. Remember to keep pets away from holly and mistletoe, as they can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea. Ingesting mistletoe can even end up in death for our precious pets. Poinsettia’s get a bad rap and they DO cause gastric upset, but they are not as toxic to our dogs and cats as holly and mistletoe.

Oh, Christmas tree: Make sure your dog steers of clear of consuming pine needles or Christmas tree water! Stagnant water can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and there may be fertilizer in that water. Keep your pup away to keep away stomach upset. Cats love to climb trees, possibly causing the tree to fall. Many cat owners don’t buy trees altogether for this reason.

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!

To learn more about how we can help you with pet care, check
out our Services page, contact us directly, or call us at 305-794-3733!


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