The holidays are a
time to decorate and share good times with friends and family. However, the
same treats and trimmings considered harmless for humans could be a serious
health risk for their pets. Below are some helpful
hints for pet owners to help keep their pets happy, healthy and stress free.
Here's one holiday
list you can check twice to help keep the furry members of your family happy
Season's eatings shouldn't include
holiday greenery such as holly,
mistletoe, lilies and amaryllis. While commonly used to deck the halls, they
can make your pet sick if ingested.
needs their zzzz’s, please: Make sure your companion animal has a warm place
to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a
warm pillow or blanket is perfect.
Look before you light. Lit
candles produce fumes that can be harmful to
birds if inhaled. And don't forget, your pet's wagging tail can easily knock
over a burning candle. Liquid potpourri is also dangerous to pets, who could
ingest it from decorative bowls and simmering pots.
Whoa, Christmas tree! Their branches definitely delight pets, who've
been known to chew on them and whatever decorations may be hanging from
them. Place small, breakable ornaments up high, and keep tinsel and garland
out of your pet's reach, as these can get caught in his throat. And make
sure that pine needles, which can be toxic, don't get eaten.
batteries loose and in packages away from pets. They contain
corrosives that can cause ulceration in your animal companion's mouth,
tongue and gastrointestinal tract if bitten or swallowed.
Your pets are
not garbage disposals for holiday leftovers. Poultry bones
can splinter and cause blockages, chocolates are poisonous, and any change
of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe indigestion and
diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals that have more
delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements.
If your pet is used to eating
leftovers, make sure to feed them meat
without rich sauces or spices; fresh vegetables are a good alternative.
Candy and sugar may give your pet diarrhea or intestinal problems.
Crowds and holiday festivities can frighten some animals. If your pet
does not do well with crowds and loud noise, make sure you set aside a safe
and quiet haven for him to retreat to if necessary.
Some animals, especially kittens and puppies like to chew on
wiring, which could electrocute your pet. Tape down loose wires to
baseboards and hide wiring as much as possible.
Dogs and cats can be allowed to romp through discarded wrapping paper
and boxes, but remove bows and yarn. Cut away shopping bag handles on bags,
which small dogs and cats can easily choke on. Keep aluminum foil away from
your animals, which can cause vomiting and intestinal blockage.
Christmas tree water may contain fertilizers, which, if ingested, can
cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water can also be a breeding ground for
bacteria, which can lead to vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea. Make sure a skirt
or a cloth covers the bottom of the tree.
Antifreeze Alert! Antifreeze has a pleasant taste. It also contains
ethylene glycol, which can cause rapid and permanent kidney damage to your
pet if he ingests even a very small amount. As little as one teaspoon can be
deadly for an average size cat, which can ingest the chemical just by
wandering through an antifreeze puddle and then cleaning his paws. Less than
four teaspoons can be dangerous to a 10-lb. dog, which can be lapped up
easily from a puddle on the garage floor. Clean up any spills, and store
antifreeze in a tightly closed contained in a closed cabinet
Dry heat can dry out your pet's skin. A small amount of vegetable oil in
food will help keep your pet comfortable.
Problem foods for Pets:
Coffee (grounds, espresso beans)
Moldy or spoiled food
Onions, onion powder
Raisins or Grapes
If you suspect your pet has gotten into a potentially poisonous substance,
call your veterinarian immediately.
® 2002 The ASPCA
Also don't forget: