It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be dangerous for your pet. Here’s how to help them avoid 7 of the biggest holiday dangers.
There’s so much to love about the holidays: the visits to friends and family, the decorations and, of course, the delicious treats. But there’s one member of your family for whom the season isn’t so cheerful and bright: your pet. The holidays indeed present many additional dangers for dogs, cats and other furry family members. Visits from friends and relatives can make your pet anxious and stressed, decorations can injure their paws and muzzle, and many Christmas treats can be toxic to dogs and cats or, at the very least, upset them. stomach when eaten.
1 Christmas decorations
Garlands, ornaments and lights can all be very dangerous for pets. Metal and glass ornaments can cause cuts and bleeding. If ingested, these items can cause even more serious internal damage, such as gastrointestinal obstruction, which will likely require surgery. Lights and candles can cause burns and electrocution to your pet, and pose a serious fire hazard to your home and family. Prevent your pet from chewing or ingesting ornaments, Christmas lights, electrical wires and ribbons to prevent gastrointestinal obstruction and electrocution. Consider limiting your pet’s access to rooms with Christmas decorations, especially when unsupervised. A simple solution is to use baby gates.
2 Turkey, ham and other rich foods
Although not necessarily harmful on their own, an abundance of rich foods and leftovers can lead to weight gain and health problems in pets. Turkey and ham can be tricky. Adding spices and other seasoning agents, such as onion and garlic (which can be toxic to dogs), makes these foods risky for your pets. Turkey skin, in particular, may be problematic for dogs and should not be given to them. Do not share your food to avoid unnecessary weight gain in your pet. Pack healthy snacks to share, such as green beans, carrots, zucchini, or celery. Fatty and fatty foods can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and, in some circumstances, pancreatitis, a serious illness that may require hospitalization.
The more visitors there are, the more likely it is that items like medicine will be left where an animal can reach them. The drugs are dangerous and potentially fatal to the animals that consume them. Make sure participants keep their medications safe in their rooms, out of reach of pets and children.
4 Sweets and treats
Many of the sugary products commonly eaten during the holidays are potentially toxic to pets. Fruitcakes, nuts, and (for the health conscious) sugar-free candies all pose a risk of gastrointestinal upset to pets. And yes, chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Limit access to holiday snacks and treats like chocolate, coffee, caffeine, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, and any candies or food items containing xylitol, which are toxic to pets and potentially deadly at any time of the year.
5 Trees and plants
Christmas trees are generally safe for pets, although pine needles can cause eye trauma. Cats should also be discouraged from climbing the tree due to the risk of injury from lighting and ornaments. Many Christmas plants and flowers are also toxic to pets. Holly (like this plant we use to decorate) is toxic to dogs and cats, as is mistletoe. Both can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially more serious symptoms. Examine all bouquets, as some flowers may be toxic to pets. Keep in mind that some visitors may bring bouquets containing flowers such as lilies, which are poisonous to cats.
If you want your home to smell of sugar, spices, and all things nice, remember that potpourri is dangerous to animals. Liquid potpourri contains essential oils and other additives that can harm your pet’s eyes, nose and mouth. If ingested, solid and liquid potpourri can cause gastrointestinal upset.
Whether it’s in eggnog, spice punch, or any other holiday favorite, alcohol is not good for pets. Alcohol can cause many of the same effects as humans, including vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, and central nervous system depression. It can also be deadly in large amounts.
Bonus: mental health is also to be watched
Mental health hazards are also issues for pets. Your pet’s mental health should also be considered during the holidays. Take into account their stress level when you have guests over and consider boarding them if it might cause anxiety. Creating a safe room or space for your pet is also a great idea if you’re expecting a lot of guests over the holidays. Be sure to stick to your pet’s usual routine as much as possible to have a stress-free holiday season. Schedule time for walks, games and meals before the celebrations begin. Think about how you will feed your animals and where you will feed them, will their usual place be off limits or overcrowded?
At its worst, being a good pet owner also means knowing when to call your veterinarian. Contact a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested unsafe foods or items, or is misbehaving. If you are traveling, be proactive and find out where and when you can get veterinary care while on vacation, in case you need it.
The holidays can present new dangers and stresses for pets of all kinds. Make sure pets are kept away from dangerous decorations, including garlands, lights, and potpourri, which can cause serious injury. Keep food away from your pets, as holiday sweets and treats can be toxic to them. Rich foods, such as turkey and leftover meals, can cause weight gain and stomach problems in animals, and should not be fed to them. Finally, keep your pet’s mental health in mind, as guests and visitors can cause a lot of stress. Maintain a regular routine with your pet, including walks and meal times. Remember to give your pet a private room or space where he can relax away from the crowds.