Hazzards to your Pets at Christmas

December 15, 2011

Christmas is fun, putting out decorations, gathering with friends and family and sharing wonderful food and drinks with them. However, this can be a dangerous time for our animals. Our pets are curious and want to sniff or eat anything they can get their paws onto.

With the Christmas season well on it's way, consider these pointers to keep your pets safe.

  • Chocolates  - Most of have either had our own dog eat chocolate, or we've heard the stories. Dogs love chocolate, but it can be dangerous for them. Try to keep it out of their noses' reach. It isn't quite as dangerous for cats, but they're not usually interested in it anyway.
  • Seasonal Plants  - Poinsettia, Amaryllis, Lily and Mistletoe will cause vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly swelling of the lips. Pets should not be able to access these plants.
  • Alcohol  - Cats and dogs like the taste of alcohol, so keep your drink to yourself where your pet can't get at it. There's a range of symptoms, and some are very serious. 
  • Grapes and Raisins  - These have been known to cause kidney failure in animals, and can easily end up on the floor where your cat or dog could sniff it out.
  • Electrical Cords  - We have these everywhere to light the decorations. But, animals could gnaw on them, causing the potential for electric shock. Check your cords each time you use them, replacing them if needed, and try to keep animals away from them.
  • Pine Needles  - If you have a live Christmas tree in your home, you will be familiar with the falling needles. These should be cleaned and kept to a minimum, as if ingested by your pet, can puncture their intestines.
  • Lighted Candles 
    • An excited tail or a swat of a paw can turn candles and hot wax into an instant disaster. The animal could get burnt or worse, knock it over and cause a fire. Candles should be high and out of reach.
  • Company  - Your pets may react unpredictably if they are not familiar with your visitors. If you're having a group over, consider putting your pet behind a closed door away from the party.
  • Tinsel and Ribbons  - Cats love to play with with these items, but if ingested, it can cause some serious havoc on their intestinal tract. If the cat cannot pass it, a surgical emergency may be necessary to remove. 

Happy Holidays!

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