It’s that time of year again – holiday decorations and lively parties – and time to put a little extra thought into your pet’s health and safety! With so much to think about around the holidays, it’s easy to forget that many of the decorations and foods you enjoy once a year could be dangerous to your family’s four-legged members. Let’s take a look at a few of these dangers…
• Anchor your Christmas tree with weight at the base or with a string tied to the ceiling to avoid the tree tipping over and possibly injuring your pet.
• Don’t let your pet drink the water your tree is sitting in. Fertilizers in the water could be poisonous to your pet. Stagnant water is also a breeding ground for bacteria that could make your pet very sick. And whatever you do, don’t listen to the old tale that Aspirin will prolong the life of your tree – if your pet ingests the water with Aspirin, it could be fatal.
• Tinsel seems like the best toy ever to your cat! But if they accidently ingest the tinsel, it can lodge in their intestine and make them very ill – possibly requiring costly surgery.
• Tree ornaments are the next best toy to tinsel! Avoid displaying ornaments within your cat or dog’s reach that have small pieces that could be swallowed. As with the tinsel, they could lodge in your pet’s intestine and possibly require surgery.
• Make sure all cords are sturdy with no loose wires. Tuck cords out of the way so that your cat isn’t tempted to play. Chewing on a cord that has electricity running through it can cause a potentially lethal electric shock. Always be sure to unplug lights when you leave the house.
• Just because you received a beautiful plant as a gift doesn’t mean that you should display it where your pet could get into it. Popular holiday plants that are poisonous to pets include Holly, Mistletoe, and many varieties of Lilies. For a complete list of plants that could poison your pet, visit http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants.
• Even though it’s a special time of year, your pet’s choice of food should not change. Try to keep their food routine as close to normal as possible. If you have a party, be extra watchful of food that is sitting out – and don’t forget to secure the garbage can!
• Most of us know that chocolate is poisonous to our pets, but many other food and drinks can be harmful as well. Visit http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/people-foods.aspx for a complete list.
Remember your pet when you are opening gifts – give your kitty a box to play in and give your dog a new rawhide to chew.
If you are having a large party, your pet may be scared or over-excited because of all the strange people. Provide them with their own quiet room to hide in – be sure to supply them with water and a soft bed (and a litter box for Mr. Kitty). Check on them throughout your party so they won’t feel forgotten.
The holidays are a great time to replace some of those chewed-through toys lying around your house. Make sure that any new toys are safe for your pet with no small pieces or strings that could be chewed off and swallowed.
In all the hubbub that the season brings, remember to de-stress with some quality playtime or a long walk with your dog. They will appreciate it as much as you do!
For more information on holiday pet safety, please visit:
Be a hero…keep your pet safe this holiday season!!