A happy holiday is a safe holiday. As you prepare for the Holiday season it’s a good idea to brush up on some potential pet hazards the festivities can bring. Here are some safety helpful tips on what to watch out for:
- Poinsettias, mistletoe and holly are popular plants that should not be ingested by your pet as all three can cause gastrointestinal upset and mistletoe can even cause cardiovascular problems. Opt for plastic plants, or store them out of reach of dogs and cats.
- Whether it’s homemade truffles, solid chocolate Santas, or a delicious chocolate cake, humans love chocolate during the holidays. Ingesting chocolate is not good for pets, and in severe cases can even cause death. According to the ASPCA, 4 ounces of milk chocolate or as little as 0.5 ounces of baking chocolate can cause serious problems in a 10-lb dog.
- If gum or sugar-free candy are expected to be in your stockings come Christmas morning be sure to keep them well out of reach for your pet, artificial sweeteners, especially Xylitol, can be dangerous for pets – especially dogs and ferrets.
- Keep paws and tails in mind when you trim your tree and opt for hard-to-break plastic ornaments. Your cat agrees with you that there’s something really special about shiny tinsel, but when ingested tinsel can cause problems in your cat’s digestive system. If you find your cat climbing the tree, the American Veterinary Medical Association suggests placing lemon-scented car air fresheners in the tree.
- The holidays are a great time to get together with friends and family. But parties also mean that your pets have a lot more access to finger foods and festive drinks. Onions, grapes and raisins, coffee and alcohol are foods that pets should not ingest, so if you are going to be serving them at your party, make sure to keep your pet secured in another room (a new bone or toy will help them pass the time). If company stresses out your pet, keep a bag of calming supplement from Head to Tail on hand.
Remember that your vet will be taking some time off too, have the number for a local emergency clinic close at hand. It’s also a good idea to stock up on your pet’s food and treats (and don’t forget a Christmas present) before the holiday rush. Then enjoy your holiday surrounded by those you love the most.