Its the most wonderful time of the year! Everyone’s jolly, decorations come out and go up, Christmas trees and Menorahs light up the house, and friends and family visit with one another. During this busy and excited time, people may not be keeping as close an eye on their beloved pets as usual.
Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe this holiday season:
- Keep your pets’ collar and ID tags on. Also, make sure your microchip information is current. With visitors entering and exiting the house, it is possible you pet slips out of the house.
- Have a private room for your pet during gatherings. Some pets are nervous or anxious and may prefer a quiet room with water and bedding to hang out in, while your house is crowded.
- Keep toxic plants like holly, mistletoe and poinsettias, out of reach of your pets. Ingestion of these plans can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and excess drooling.
- Try to keep your pets from drinking Christmas tree water. Water with Christmas tree additives is dangerous if ingested, and just still water can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause stomach upset.
- Make sure the tree is anchored down – we’d hate for it to fall over after an excited cat or pup jumps on it!
- Be careful with the tinsel. Some pets, especially cats, will play with tinsel and may swallow it, which can lead to obstructed digestive tracts, dehydration, vomiting and in sever cases, surgery to remove it.
- Do not leave candles unattended. Pets can easily knock these over, causing fires and/or burns to themselves.
- Keep wires, batteries, and ornaments out of reach. A playful pet who starts chewing on a wire is risking a deadly shock. Chewing on batteries can cause serious burns, and glass and plastic ornaments can case internal damage if your pet chews and swallows these.
- Be careful what foods your pet has access to, and let guests know to not feed your pets from their plates. Pork/ham, turkey/turkey skin, yeast dough, bones, chocolate, anything sweetened with xylitol (gum, candy, etc), spicy and fatty foods, and alcohol can be toxic to animals. Also make sure people aren’t leaving their left over plates in your pets’ reach.
Keep your vet, and closest 24/7 emergency vet’s, number and location handy, just in case. The ASPCA Poison Control Hotline is 1-888-426-4435.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!