The holidays are a time for giving but there are some things you should not share with your pets. Holiday festivities present situations which can be hazardous to our pets, so a little precaution is necessary for making this season a happy time for all. Some of the more common holiday hazards include:
Bones: The holiday turkey or ham will leave a lot of tantalizing bones, but don't feed them to your pets. Small bones or bone chips can get lodged in the throat, stomach and intestinal tract. Cooked bones can splinter when chewed and the meat left on the bone can quickly turn into a bacterial food poisoning exposure risk!
Fat: Those wonderful potato latkes, gravies, and poultry skin can cause severe stomach upset and lead to potentially life threatening pancreatitis. Don't think you're doing your pet a favor by sharing holiday dinner and spending the remainder of the holiday in the veterinary hospital!
Sweets : Too much candy may lead to a tummy ache. Even a little chocolate can be fatal to your pet. Chocolate poisoning is caused by theobromine, a caffeine-like chemical substance found naturally in chocolate. Xylitol found in sugar-free candy and foods can lower blood sugar in dogs that can lead to convulsions and death. Keep these holiday any goodies away from curious pets--don't leave any goodies wrapped under the tree either: pets will sniff them out!
Holiday plants: Holly and mistletoe are poisonous when eaten, and the poinsettia sap and leaves can cause severe stomach upset. The water in the X-mas tree holder may also contain preservatives that leach from the cut end of the tree and cause problems for pets. Also keep the tree well secured: after all cats like to climb and that tree may prove too enticing! Pine needles,too, can potentially puncture your pet's intestines.
Ornaments: Sharp or breakable ornaments and dreidels should be kept out of reach. Tinsel and ribbon are too tempting to cats especially and when ingested can cause intestinal blockage requiring surgery and a potentially long veterinary hospital stay!
Electrical cords : Holiday lights and decorations mean more electrical cords for kittens and puppies to chew. Electrocution and electrical burns are very common. Be sure all cords are secured and out of curious reach of teeth!
Candles : Lighted candles in a Chanukah menorah or in celebration of Kwanza or in windows and in luminaries can quickly become disastorous. Anchor and/or place candles away from curious face, paws, and whiskers!
Stress and company : With everyone coming and going, watch for open doors, gates, and windows. Make sure your pet has an identification collar with tags and a microchip implanted under the skin in case of escape. These identifiers can get your pet home if they do get out and get lost. Be sure to provide a quiet place for your pet to retreat when the the festivities get too stressful.
So ask your pet's vet for the best ways to keep your pets safe during the Howl-a-days : wishing all pet lovers Fleas Navi-dog, Yappy Canine-ikah, Kitty Kwanza and a Yappy Meow Year!