How to keep your pets safe during the holidays
The most highly anticipated time of the year is upon us once again! With homes being decked out in decorations and the smell of delicious holiday foods filling the air, the holidays are an exciting and wonderful time for many families. But with this excitement should come special consideration for the pets in your home.
With so many new smells and items in your home, it is only natural that your pets will become more curious. We would like to offer the following tips in order to ensure that your pets stay safe during the holidays.
Foods to Watch Out For
As we all know, food plays a huge role when it comes to family get-togethers during the holidays and often times it is not just the family that has a little more food than they should. The problem is, not all foods are good for animals to eat. Here’s a list of foods you should keep away from your pets:
- Anything Containing Artificial Sweeteners
- Gravies & Grease
- Grapes & Raisins
- Macadamia Nuts
- Uncooked Scraps (Meat, Fish, and Poultry)
- Uncooked Yeast Dough
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and they will try and take things out of the garbage if left in the house. After cooking, be sure to immediately throw away any items that came in contact with food and remove them from the home.
If you are stuffing the kids’ stockings with chocolates, don’t lay them under the tree Christmas Eve. Keep stockings up high where the dog cannot get into them.
Plants That Are Poisonous to Pets
One of the most common gifts for hosts during the holidays is flowers or house plants but without meaning to, your generous family member could be putting your pets in danger.
The Poinsettia contains sap that can be highly toxic to cats and dogs. Common side effects can be extreme stomach upset and blisters in the mouth.
Leaves and berries from mistletoe, holly and lilies are also very dangerous for pets. Side effects include severe stomach problems and may even be fatal to dogs and cats.
If you’re decorating with these holiday plants, be sure to keep them out of reach of your pets or use artificial plants instead.
Dangerous Wrappings and Decorations
Christmas means presents which means wrapping paper, ribbon, and string. These items can be irresistible to some dogs and cats and while it’s fun to watch your pet play with these items, they can also be extremely dangerous for them.
If ingested, these items can cause abdominal blockages which often times require surgery. In some cases, these blockages can be fatal for your pet. Adhesives and potpourri can also be toxic to pets.
When it comes to decorations, candles seem to be one of the more dangerous ones. It is important to keep all pets away from candles when lit. Lit candles can cause burns or your pet could knock over the candle and cause a fire in your home. Snow globes and bubble lights can contain toxic liquid.
Pets and Christmas Trees
As beautiful as it is, the Christmas tree is one of the more dangerous holiday items for your pets.
Tree needles and artificial snow can be toxic to pets which could cause stomach and mouth irritation. Electrical cords, if chewed on, could greatly harm your pets so spraying them with a product to deter chewing is suggested. Cats may get tinsel stuck on their tongues and end up ingesting it causing severe damage to its intestinal tract.
Christmas lights can burn hot, causing your pets to suffer mild burns, so using low-heat LED lighting on your tree could help decrease those odds. If you have delicate ornaments or real food decorations, like candy canes, be sure to place them higher up on the tree where they are out of reach of your pets.
Tree water can be something that your pets are attracted to but with tree preservatives, that water could be toxic to your pets. Standing water like that can also harbor potentially harmful bacteria or it could pull out potentially harmful fertilizers, pesticides, or insecticides used on the tree.
If your veterinarian is unavailable, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.