The holidays are a festive time, but the season brings added dangers to our four legged friends. By taking preventative measures, you can save yourself and your pet a trip to the veterinary emergency room. Here are the 5 most common Christmas pet dangers that every pet owner should know.
1. Toxic Plants - They're festive and pretty, but holiday plants can be toxic to your pet - as little as a single leaf from any lily variety is lethal to cats. And although poinsettias fill homes with color, they contain a milky sap that can irritate the mouth if ingested. Mistletoe and holly are two of the most toxic holiday plants to pets, causing severe gastrointestinal disorders, breathing difficulty and even heart failure in extreme cases.
2. Wrapping Paper & Ribbon - These shiny decorations may look like fun, but they can be dangerous to your pet. Ingested ribbon can be a choking hazard and ultimately twist throughout the intestines and have to be surgically removed later. It's best to quicky discard ribbons and bows so your curious companions won't be tempted to chew or play with them.
3. Holiday Light & Candles - Does your pet like to chew? There's nothing more inticing than a sparkly, shiny string dangling from a tree to pique your pet's interest. Remember to keep lights and candles out of reach.. electrical shock may occur when a pet chomps down on an electrical cord.
4. Christmas Decorations - Tinsel, while not toxic, is very attractive to cats. The shiny, reflective decoration seems to be irresistable to your curious companion. Once consumed, it can cause serious injury. Much like ribbon, this foreign body can be fatal as it twists and bunches inside your pet's intestines. Place glass, aluminum, and paper ornaments higher up on the tree or out of reach from your pet. These ornaments can not only be a choking hazard, but onced chewed, the broken pieces can cut your pet's mouth, throat, and instestines.
5. Food Hazards - Most people know to keep chocolate away from pets, especially dark chocolate, as the darker and richer the chocolate, the higher the toxicity. As friends and family enjoy their holiday meal, they may be tempted to share with the family pet. While turkey is usually safe as it's not too fatty, fat trimmings and bones are dangerous to dogs. Fat trimmed from meat can cause an upset stomache, or worse, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). And although it might seem natural to give a dog a bone, meat bones can shatter or splinter and puncture the intestinal tract or cause intestinal blockage. Other foods to avoid are alcohol, onions, and garlic. If you want Fido to join in on the festivities, give him treats he would normally receive if you want your guests to "treat" him.
The holidays are a celebration of family and we want our pets to enjoy the festivities as much as we do. We have a wide range of natural, healthy treats for dogs and cats, as well as curated gifts for your favorite friend!
From all of us at Vetopia, best wishes for a safe and merry holiday for you and your pets!