Keep Your Pets Off the Naughty List with these Safety Tips!


The holidays are a season filled with festive fun, but it's also a time when our furry friends can get into mischief. Check out these holiday pet safety tips to ensure your pets stay off the naughty list this year!

Holiday Ornaments: Make sure holiday ornaments are out of the reach of your pets. Holiday decorations such as snow globes or bubble lights may contain poisonous chemicals. Methylene chloride, the chemical in bubble lights, can result in depression, aspiration pneumonia, and irritation to the eyes, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. For those of you with cats, 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. Far worse and lesser known are holiday plants such as lilies, holly, and mistletoe. 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. Other festive plants such as holly berries and mistletoe can also be toxic to pets and can 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. Fat trimmings are very high in fat, which is why it tastes so good. Animals are susceptible to pancreatitis from high-fat content foods. Pancreatitis is not always curable, and symptoms include vomiting, depression, abdominal pain, and reluctance to move. If you suspect pancreatitis, make sure your pet goes in to see your vet as soon as possible.

Bread dough: Raw bread dough contains yeast, which can rise in your pet's stomach and cause discomfort or even more serious conditions.

Wrappings: Foils, waxed papers, turkey bags, strings, garbage bags, and toothpicks are tempting for animals and can pose a serious health threat if ingested. Be sure to properly dispose of all garbage to avoid a holiday trip to the vet.

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 that is toxic to dogs and can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure. Keep dishes loaded with onions away from your dog. Onions contain thiosulphate, which damages red blood cells and can cause anemia in dogs.

Small children: The holidays are a time for families to come together. Do not leave small children around a pet that is not used to living with little ones. Children can't help but pull ears and tails or lay on pets while they are sleeping. Not all dogs or cats are patient enough to tolerate this, so keep everyone safe and happy and supervise children around the animals.

Identification: Lastly, with folks coming and going during holiday festivities, animals have a higher opportunity to escape. Make sure you have updated ID tags on their collars, or write your phone number directly on their collars with permanent marker. This will make it easier for your pet to return home in the event they get out and become lost. 


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