The holiday season is upon us, and many of us plan to include our furry family members in the festivities. However, we can overlook potential dangers for our pets. Check out these great tips on how to keep your pets safe and happy this season.
Many people have festive plants placed throughout their house for the holiday. Some common holiday plants (Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettia, Lilies and Daffodils) have been considered poisonous and toxic if your pets ingest it. Some side effects may include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, seizures, weakness, loss of appetite and difficulty swallowing. Remember to keep your pets in mind when you display or dispose of your holiday plants.
Beautiful and joyful in the home, your decorated Christmas tree is a waiting hazard for your pets. Items such as tinsel, garlands, lights and glass ornaments can be dangerous gateways for accidents. If ingested, your pets may experience signs of vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, lethargy or weakness. Make sure your tree is properly secured, and place less "tempting" ornaments near your tree base, with more fragile items at the top.
Holiday lights are glowing and festive to look at whether inside or outside the house. For curious pets who may chew on electrical cords, wires can present a threat. If chewed, electrical cords can cause burns, difficulty breathing, cardiac arrest, and seizures. To protect your pets, unplug the lights when you aren't home.
Holiday sweets (especially chocolate) should be kept far away from your pets. Xylitol, which is a sugar-free sweetener, can be found in baked goods and candies. Vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures and liver failure may indicate poisoning from xylitol. Other foods to keep away from your pets are onions, nuts, grapes, garlic, leeks, shallots and alcohol. Never give your pets leftover bones as these can cause choking, constipation or cause damage to your dog’s intestines. Avoid items that you know will upset your pet's stomach and consult your veterinarian before trying anything new.
If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn't have, call your veterinarian or emergency veterinarian hospital immediately. You may also want to call Pet Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 (Please be advised there is a charge for this call - ask for the cost before proceeding). Taking precautions with your pets during the holidays can help prevent accidents from occurring. Keep these tips in mind and enjoy the festivities without worrying about the safety of your furry family member.