The holiday season is a time to get together with family and friends. It is a time to create memories that will last a lifetime. It is a time for family and friends to come together for parties and festive meals. It is also a season full of sights and smells that wake the senses. Christmas trees trimmed with colorful decorations, turkey, stuffing, pies and cookies baking in the oven, and lots of new presents and wrapping paper all over the floor on Christmas day.
Unfortunately, with all of the added festivities the holiday season brings, it also brings new dangers to our pets.
Most seasoned pet owners know that the items listed below can be very dangerous. But sometimes it helps to be reminded. For the newer pet owners, maybe this is the first time you’ve seen this list. If this post saves just one family from a disaster this holiday season it will have been worth it.
Holiday parties often include a few alcoholic beverages meant to lighten the mood. But if they’re not kept out of the reach of pets, even a small amount of alcohol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, and disorientation in your pet. Larger amounts may even cause death. Keep a careful eye on shots and mixed drinks. They can do damage faster.
Any cooked bones can be dangerous. Turkey and chicken bones are extremely dangerous because the splinter very easily. Ham and beef bone also splinter, just not as easily. All cooked bones have dangerous effects when ingested and can internal injury. Never intentionally give cooked bones to your pets. When you lay out the meals on your counters and tables, make sure that your pets can’t get to the food. Also make sure that they can’t get to the surfaces where the dirty dishes are placed.
Candles can offer an intimate and elegant element to the holiday. They can also ad a very dangerous element as well. Make sure they are nowhere near the reach of your dogs and cats. Flames can easily find wagging tails and curious noses, they can then be tipped into things that can easily catch fire. Need we say more?
Most pet owners know that chocolate is toxic to pets. Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolates are the worst. But all chocolate, fudge, and other candy is bad as well. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include: diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, nervousness, and even death.
The shininess of tinsel, decorations, ribbons and bows is bound to attract curious dogs and cats. Accidental ingestion of these decorations can cause bunching and the possible perforation of intestines. This is a life-threatening condition requiring emergency surgery.
You only need to see a Christmas tree from your dog’s eyes to understand this danger. All of the sudden there’s a big tree in the house. If it doesn’t out-n-out frighten him, it will most likely raise some major curiosity in him. To avoid your tree falling over after a few bats of the paw, be sure to secure your tree in a sturdy stand and block off any access to it. You may also want to limit the amount of decorations you use on the bottom of the tree and make sure there isn’t anything dangling that your dog can get a hold of or pull on.
Once your holiday parties and the family feast is over, make sure the table scraps, foil, and other waste goes into a sealed trash can. Be aware that dogs and cats have a great nose and they may be able to open cupboards, doors and garbage cans. So make sure these places are well secured.
If your dog or cat likes to chew, it may chew on or ingest pine needles from a real tree. If this happens it can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, depression, and possibly obstruction of the GI tract. In addition, Christmas trees are often sprayed with paint or preservatives. If a fertilizer is used it can also be extremely harmful.
Some holiday plants are harmful to pets. These plants include poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly. Ingestion of plants like these can cause mouth and stomach irritation, seizures and death. If you use these plants to decorate your home, keep them out of the reach of your pets.
Your pets are counting on you to keep them safe from dangers like these. A few simple preventative steps can assure that this holiday season will be a healthy and happy experience for your family and friends. Including your four footed friends.
I hope you will all have happy and healthy holiday season.