Winter Holiday Hazards for Pets
Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations
- Beware of holiday plants: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested.
- Watch your cat around tinsel. Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. If you have a cat, it's recommended to your tree with something other than tinsel..
- Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it can’t fall over, as this can cause possible injury to your pet. Prevent your pets from drinking the tree water—which may cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he drink it.
- Don't leave lighted candles
unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles
over. And if you leave the room,
put the candle out!
- Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. Pets will sometimes be intrigued with new cords and wires can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock. A chewed battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus. Shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.
Avoid Holiday Food Dangers
- By now you know not to feed
your pets chocolate or treats sweetened with xylitol, so keep that in
mind. Pets can be very resourceful when it comes to getting into food or yummy
treats. Be sure to keep pets away
from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the
lids on garbage cans.
- No leftovers for your furry friends: fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your pet.
Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering
- If your animal-loving guests
would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're
busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or
- Make sure all of your
medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your
guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
- Give your pet his own quiet
space to retreat to if they are feeling overwhelmed—complete with fresh
water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out
under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room
away from the hubbub.
- As you count down to the New Year, please keep in mind that many pets are scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.