The cheerful holiday season is here! Before pulling out the tinsel and delicate ornaments to decorate your Christmas tree please take a moment to read our blog on how to keep your furry friends jolly and SAFE during the holidays.
We all know that our furry family members love to lick and chew, and it can be quite surprising to find out just how many holiday items find their way into their mouths. Here are a few different items that you might want to consider keeping far out of your furry family member’s reach:
Tinsel & Ribbon
Tinsel sure looks pretty as it’s shimmering from the branches of our Christmas trees, and our cats think so too! This is commonly used to decorate our tree over the holidays and can be very dangerous if ingested. It can become tangled in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract which can be fatal if left untreated.
Ornaments can look a lot similar to the toys we give to our dogs for fetching and chewing; it’s a bit of a no brainer why our four legged friends might be intrigued by the sparkly decorations hanging off our Christmas trees and decide to help themselves to one or two. These fragile ornaments can cause severe medical concerns once swallowed so keep this in mind when decorating your Christmas tree, and consider placing them higher up on your tree where your pet can’t reach.
Turkey bones can cause serious injury to your pet if chewed or ingested. Cooked bones often splinter and break, while both cooked and uncooked bones can get stuck in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract leading to blockages and emergency foreign body surgery.
Lighting a candle or two gives any room an instant holiday glow, but when left unattended candles can burn your pet or start a fire if they are accidentally knocked over. Make sure that you place your candles on proper candle holders, stable surfaces away from your pet, and that they are put out when you leave the room/house or go to bed.
These circular displays are the quintessential winter decorative pieces. That being said, they can be potentially harmful for your furry pals. Snow globes are easily breakable and broken glass can damage your pet’s mouth, throat and stomach once swallowed. Antifreeze, which most snow globes contain, is also lethal for cats. It’s best to keep snow globes in a secure display area that your pet cannot get to.
Preparing presents for your loved ones is one of the best parts of this time of year and wrapping paper is a great way to show off your creativity. Whenever you are done wrapping or opening your gifts, please make sure to keep wrapping paper and ribbons away from your pets. If your pet eats these materials, it can cause gastrointestinal problems. They are also choking hazards for your pets.
Chocolate is a well-known toxic dessert for our furry friends. In reality, most food that have sugar can be potentially dangerous for dogs, cats and other pets so it is best to avoid them altogether. Sugar (and the sugar substitute xylitol found in “sugar-free” foods) can cause stomach pain, pancreatitis, live failure and other serious health issues in your furry family member. Treats made specifically for pets are the safest option. Let other people know in your household about your no-sweets rule for your pets, and try to keep your pet away from the food table at all times.
Plants add warmth to any space and certain varieties have become Christmastime staples. Unfortunately, many of these plants are toxic for your pet and can cause serious reactions such as upset stomach, slowed heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea and even kidney failure. Some of the plants that you should avoid are poinsettia, mistletoe, ivy, lilies, amaryllis and holly.
Whether on your tree, doorways or other areas of your home, it’s important to double check that your Christmas lights are securely fastened and that electrical wiring are out of reach from your pets. While an electric shock can be nothing but uncomfortable for us humans, furry friends are particularly vulnerable to electrocution, and can sustain serious burns and internal organ damage from shocks.
To prevent a visit to your nearest emergency veterinary hospital please be mindful this holiday season when decking the halls of your home.
Have a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Petroglyph Animal Hospital!