With the holidays right around the corner, we know there will be plenty of opportunities for your pets to get into mischief. Check out these tips and reminders to help keep your furry friends safe this season!
Holiday Decorations: Be sure to keep all ornaments out of reach of your pets. Holiday decorations such as snow globes or bubble lights may contain poisonous chemicals like methylene chloride. If ingested, it can result in depression, aspiration pneumonia, and irritation to the eyes, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. For our cat lovers, try to avoid tinsel as much as possible. What looks like a shiny toy to your cat can cause severe damage to a cat's intestinal tract if swallowed.
Plants: Many decorative holiday plants can also be deadly to your pets. Poinsettia plants are well-known for their mild toxicity. Lesser-known holiday plants such as lilies, holly, and mistletoe are even more dangerous to animals if consumed. Lilies, (including tiger, Asiatic, stargazer, Easter, and day lilies), are the most dangerous plants for cats. The ingestion of one to two leaves or flower petals is enough to cause sudden kidney failure. Holly berries and mistletoe can also be toxic to pets and may cause gastrointestinal upset and even heart arrhythmias if ingested.
Cooked Bones and Trimmings: It may be tempting to let your dog chew on the bones after you cook, but cooked bones are extremely dry and brittle. In addition to potentially causing intestinal blockages, the bones can also splinter in the dog's throat or digestive system and cause severe damage, internal bleeding, or death. Animals are susceptible to pancreatitis from high-fat content foods such as fat trimmings. Pancreatitis symptoms include vomiting, depression, abdominal pain, and reluctance to move. If you suspect your pet may have pancreatitis, visit your local veterinarian immediately.
Bread Dough: Everyone loves freshly baked bread. However, if consumed, the yeast in bread dough can rise in your pet's stomach and cause discomfort or even more serious conditions.
Wrappings: Foils, waxed papers, turkey bags, strings, garbage bags, toothpicks, and more can pose a serious health threat if ingested.
Holiday Foods: Foods containing grapes, raisins, and currents (fruitcakes) can result in kidney failure in dogs. Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, a chemical highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion in small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias. Many sugarless gums and candies contain xylitol, a sweetener toxic to dogs that can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure. Keep dishes loaded with onions away from your dog as onions contain thiosulphate, which damages red blood cells and can cause anemia in dogs.
Small Children: Do not leave pets unattended during family holiday gatherings if they are not used to being around children. Children tend to smother animals, and while it is meant to be loving, it can cause pets to get aggressive. To avoid injuries to your pets and children, be sure to supervise children around the animals.
Identification: Animals have a higher possibility of escaping with so much traffic in your home during holiday festivities. Have valid ID tags on their collars or write your phone number directly on their collars with a permanent marker to avoid your pet getting lost this holiday season.
Stay safe everyone, and have a great holiday week!