Holiday Pet Hazards
By Dr. Tracy Thompson, Veterinarian
The holiday season is here, and most of us pet parents plan to include our furry friends in the festivities. As you gear up for family gatherings and New Year celebrations, its important to try and keep your pets clear of unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.
Here are 6 tips to keep your pets feeling jolly this holiday season.
1. Watch the wrappings. Make sure that as you wrap those presents, all linear objects are accounted for. Cats love to play with ribbon, and although it’s cute, it can be life threatening if eaten. Some signs Fluffy might have ingested something harmful are – not wanting to eat, vomiting or pain in the belly.
2. Hide the holly. Although seasonal bouquets of holly, mistletoe and poinsettias add to the festive spirit, they can be very harmful to pets if ingested. Holly and poinsettias can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems; and many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. So make sure you keep these plants out of your pets reach or choose a pet-safe bouquet for your home.
3. Conceal the chocolate. As the children gather and divide up their chocolate Hanukkah gelt, make sure none of our furry friends steal a coin. Chocolate toxicity is one of the #1 food ingestions during this season. So as we celebrate with family and friends over food, make sure our furry loved ones are not partaking in the eating festivities.
4. Monitor medication. If you plan on having houseguests, be mindful of any medication they may bring. Houseguests who are unfamiliar with pets may not realize just how curious they can be. Have your guests keep any medication in a closed and sealed location.
5. Be careful with the cocktails. If your celebration includes alcohol, be sure to place your unattended drinks where pets cannot reach them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
6. Secure some quiet space. If you plan on hosting a party, think about the reaction your pets may have to the festivities. It’s easy to forget that loud noises and celebratory poppers can scare your pets. Try creating a safe place in your home where your pet can have some quiet space if needed.