The holidays are here! During this magical time of year, it’s important to be aware of festive hazards that could be toxic to your furry friends. Check out these tips and tricks to keep your pets on the Nice List this season!
FOOD: Many of the foods that make the holidays so special for humans can be deadly for our animals. As a general rule, keep all sweets away from your pets. For dogs, chocolate can cause a variety of health issues and even death. Nuts and candies containing Xylitol are extremely dangerous for all animals and should be avoided. Warn guests not to share table scraps with the family pets. Items such as fat trimmings, dairy, mushrooms, onions, garlic, raw meat or eggs, nutmeg, alcohol, caffeine, and fruit all pose a danger. While grapes and raisins are well known to cause kidney failure, lesser-known is the danger of pits in peaches and plums which contain cyanide and are poisonous to both humans and dogs. Any item containing yeast or unbaked dough should also be off-limits to pets.
BONES: Giving your dog a bone may seem like a nice treat during the holidays. However, bones can easily splinter causing an obstruction or lacerations in the digestive tract. Stick to soft, dog-friendly goodies.
DECORATIONS: Decorations may look great on the tree, but they can be perilous to a curious pet. Tinsel can become entangled in the intestines and, if not caught in time, may be fatal if ingested by animals. The same goes for icicles, netting, garlands, curtains, and decorative rope. Ornaments that can be easily broken or have sharp edges should be kept out of reach of furry friends. Make sure candles are high on shelves or counters, as they could easily start a fire if knocked over by pets.
ELECTRICAL CORDS: Biting into an electrical cord can cause shock or even be fatal. Be sure to turn off any electric decorations and unplug them when you are not home.
PLANTS: Plants may add cheer to this time of year, but a single leaf from any lily variety is lethal to cats. Other plants to avoid include Poinsettias, Holly, Christmas tree pine needles, and Mistletoe.
SMALL CHILDREN: The holidays are a time for family to come together. If your family includes small children, make sure they are not left unattended around family pets. 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 it is better for everyone involved to supervise children around the animals.
IDENTIFICATION: With family coming and going during holiday festivities, furry friends have a higher chance of escaping. Make sure your pets are wearing an updated ID tag or write your phone number directly on their collars with a permanent marker. Make sure dogs are wearing their licenses and consider a microchip in the event their collar or tag gets lost. The HSVC offers microchipping services for $15.00, including registration. Call the Shelter at 805-646-6505 to schedule an appointment.