Holiday Health Hazards To Avoid
The holidays are a hazardous time for our pets. There are holiday lights, holiday visitors, and a virtual smorgasbord lying on the counter at any given time. Here are a few things you should do to ensure make sure your pet has a happy holiday season!
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Decorations[/heading]
Holiday decorations, particularly tinsel and glass ornaments, can result in a trip to the emergency clinic. The rule of paw is to avoid decorating with anything your pet is going to find appealing. That includes stringing popcorn and cranberries, hanging tinsel, using glass decorations, placing angel’s hair int he manger, leaving candy lying about in bowls, placing poinsettias near your door or mistletoe over your door (see this list of toxic plants from the ASPCA), and decorating with pretty much anything that is long and stringy, small and tasty, or extra shiny.
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Kids[/heading]
Everyone is a little extra excitable during the crazy season. You can avoid any potential “misunderstandings” by keeping pets cordoned off in a quiet room this holiday season. We know – it’s your pets home before it’s a visitor’s home – but if you have people over, you have a responsibility to keep your pets AND your visitors safe. If you do let them interact, be sure visiting children know the rules of the roost. Here is a downloadable PDF you can hang on your door this holiday season to train kids in interacting with pets.
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Candles[/heading]
Thousands of fires are accidentally set by animals each year. Avoid candles in your home if you have any type of pet. Many a cat has wandered past a lit candle only to set their tail on fire, eventually setting the rest of the house on fire. Scented candles can be very harmful to birds and reptiles, and can actually create respiratory conditions for the rest of us. There are many alternatives to candles available. Try using these instead:
- Reed Diffusers
- Flameless Candles: We like the LED Ivory Wax Candles With Drip Effect
- LED Lights in a wine bottle: Here’s a great tutorial from This Old House
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Counter Surfing and Snacking[/heading]
Just say no to counter-surfing and keep your garbage in a place where pets can’t reach it.
- Onion: The sulfoxides and disulfides can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia
- Garlic: the sulfoxides and disulfides can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia
- Tomato: Causes amenia
- Avocado: Contains a toxin known as persin that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Birds and small pets seem most affected by the negative side effects of consuming avocado.
- Grapes and Raisins: Causes kidney damage
- Macadamia Nuts: Causes gastrointestinal upsets, lethargy, vomiting and muscle tremors or stiffness.
- Mushrooms: Can cause shock and death
- Tomatoes: Can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in cats, leading to death.
- Chicken, Pork and other Bones: Can get stuck in the roof of the mouth, throat and intestines, and should be avoided
- Nuts: A toxin in nuts can have negative effects on the nervous, digestive, and muscular systems. Symptoms can include muscle tremors, weakness, an upset stomach, vomiting, depression, inactivity, and stiffness.
- Other Foods to Avoid: Raw potatoes, turkey skin, nutmeg, apple seeds, mustard (and mustard seeds), fruit pits, rhubarb, salt
- Caffeine: Avoid giving anything with caffeine, including tea.
Alcohol: Alcohol and hops should also be avoided as alcohol poisoning can lead to coma and death. Don’t give beer or wine to your dog – it’s cruel.
Candy: When it comes down to it, people shouldn’t really much of this either. But your pet really needs to avoid it. Here’s a chart to show you how fast a dog can die from chocolate and don’t forget the Xylitol cautions!
- Xylitol: As little as three grams (e.g. about five pieces of gum) can kill a 65 pound dog
- Chocolate: Can cause gastrointestinal problems, coma, and even death
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Costumes[/heading]
Put the costume on your pet, take a picture, then remove the costume. Dogs aren’t like people who want to be dressed up all night. They don’t like to itch, they don’t like to smell weird, and they don’t want any added stress on an already stressful holiday.
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Keep Pets Indoors[/heading]
Keeping your pets in may well be the most important thing you can do for your pet. It’s cold outside. If you do let them out, make sure their paws are protected with boots and they are wearing something to keep them a little warmer. This is a list of some of our favorite Durable Coats To Keep Pets Warm in Winter. Cats should have a heated place to stay and be sure you help out ways to Keep Feral Cats Warm This Winter by winterizing your yard for them. It’s the right thing to do to provide for God’s creatures!
Walking your pet: Two commands every pet should know are “No” and “Drop”. Not only should they know it, they should respond to it. Be extra cautious while walking your pets during the holiday season and don’t allow them to eat or lick anything from the sidewalk. Practice teaching your pet these two critical commands. they need to know it for their own safety!
[heading style=”2″ color=”#006666″ style_color=”#006666″]Wearing ID[/heading]
Make sure your pet has at least two forms of ID at all times. No, I’m not saying they need to walk around with a drivers license, but they should be microchipped and wearing a collar.
It’s a lot of rules, we know. But, it’s important to take care of our animals during these hectic holiday times. We made it a little easier for you with this holiday pet safety infographic. Feel free to download and distribute or just send to a friend!