We've decked the halls and trimmed our trees! All that decorating has given us a beautiful holiday home to admire. And it has given our pets new and exciting things to get into trouble playing with! Here's a list of potential hazards to be aware of this holiday season.
Our Christmas trees and decorations may contain items which can be harmful to our pets if chewed on or swallowed. Any form of tinsel can become lodged in the intestines if it is eaten. Keep tinsel out of your pet's reach, place it high on the tree, or refrain from using it. Pets sometimes like to knock ornaments down and play with them. Breakable ornaments can cause cuts on paw pads or in mouths if chewed on. As a preventative measure, use plastic ornaments on the lower branches. Hide or protect electrical cords from pets especially when plugged in. And check the cord for chew marks each time before using it!
Candles and potpourri are popular ways to create a festive environment. Lighted candles can be enticing to our furry pals. Keep these in high places so that sniffing noses and wagging tails do not accidentally knock them over. Potpourri and gel beads provide a pleasant aroma of cinnamon or balsam pine. Both are dangerous to pets if eaten. Gel beads may also cause skin irritation if a pet comes into contact with them.
Ribbons and bows look great on Christmas presents. And although they are cute on our pets, you may wish to skip tying one on your cat or dog. Ribbons tied around the neck can become a choking hazard if your pet gets caught on something. Both ribbons and bows can be dangerous if eaten. They may become tangled inside the intestines creating blockages or damage that requires surgical intervention.
Food, food, and more food! It seems that there is a never-ending supply of delicious goodies this time of year. Be sure to keep all those goodies away from pets. Baked goods made with xylitol can make pets very sick. For more on the dangers of xylitol, see our blog "Using Peanut Butter." Turkey bones, gravy, poultry skin, and excess fat can cause gastrointestinal upset and possibly pancreatitis in pets. Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death in our furry friends. Instead of taking chances with people food, provide your cat or dog with special treats made for pets.
Popular seasonal plants such as mistletoe, amaryllis, holly, and fir trees can be dangerous to pets. For more detailed information, take a look at our blog on poisonous winter plants.
Keep these pointers in mind throughout the month while we enjoy this holiday season. We hope that everyone will have a safe and merry Christmas!