The Christmas holidays are one of the most dangerous seasons for your pets. Christmas trees, ornaments, decorations along with candy and nuts, pose serious health hazards to pets. Combine this with winter weather when pets spend more time indoors, and lots of house guests, you have an accident waiting to happen.
Recently there’s been a bit too much mischief around our house, causing concern to the Lady I rescued about our safety. Here’s what we feel are the top health hazards to pets in the home during the holiday season, and tips on how to prevent them. Our thanks to PetPlan for providing the infographic.
Holiday Health Hazard #1 — Ingesting Foreign Objects
Taffy is the top troublemaker in our family. It’s a 24×7 full-time job to keep an eye out for anything on the floor or in reach of Taffy she can eat. Cats will eat ribbon, dogs will chew up ornaments from the tree, digesting tiny pieces. Common sense advice it to keep wrappings put away when not wrapping gifts. The Lady tries to put non-breakable ornaments on the bottom of our tree, but that doesn’t stop me from chewing up something found on the floor. Awareness at all times is the key to keeping your pets safe during the holidays.
Holiday Health Hazard #2 — Christmas Trees and Plants
Cats think that the Christmas tree is just one big toy. If they’re not trying to climb it they’re batting around the tempting, dangling ornaments on the bottom of the tree. Even though Rhette is an older, lazy cat, for some reason he goes crazy over the tree. He starts doing burn outs under it, attacking the tree skirt, then the bottom of the tree, knocking down branches. If broken, glass ornaments can leave tiny pieces of glass that can get stuck in paws. The tree is never safe around any cat, if you have something valuable or memorable maybe not put it on the tree until you know the cat will leave it alone. Depending on the size of your pets, we’ve seen some trees with small fences around it for protection.
Christmas cacti, lilies and poinsettia are all dangerous for cats. Cacti can upset stomachs, lilies, the most dangerous, can cause kidney failure and poinsettia aren’t as toxic as previously thought, but its sap can cause an unpleasant rash. Avoid purchasing any of these if you have pets, if its a gift, re-gift it.
Holiday Health Hazard #3 — Food, Candy & Nuts
The holidays are all about food, it’s everywhere during the holidays. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause illness or even death in dogs and cats, not to mention caffeine in coffee and chocolate can trigger hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, seizures and even death. Not as well-known as chocolate, fruitcake is also very dangerous to pets. It contains a trio of ingredients that can make pets sick, currants, raisins and nuts. Also, the cake is soaked in spirits, making it toxic and possibly deadly to dogs and cats. It sounds simple, but never leave a bowl of nuts or a box of candy within reach of your pets and re-gift the fruitcake.
The holidays are busy and hectic, being careless by putting a box of chocolates on the coffee table or leaving a drink where the cat likes to jump up can ruin the holidays. You have to vigilant at this time of year to keep your pets safe, because we’re worth it, right?
The Lady I rescued and I would like to dedicate this post to Easy the Weimaraner from Brittany, France. He went to the rainbow bridge suddenly, earlier this month, from complications due to bloat. Bloat and other digestives issues are very serious for dogs. Which is why we are trying to spread the word for pet parents to stay in the moment, be aware of their surroundings during the holidays to keep their pets safe. Easy’s mom and dad, Katty and Mark, are lost without their big guy this holiday season, and we don’t want it to happen to anyone else.