Hidden Holiday Dangers For Your Pet
The holidays are a time of great joy for many, but they can quickly become terrifying if we are not aware of hidden holiday dangers that can harm our pets. No need to panic, just a little extra vigilance is required to keep everyone safe and sound this holiday season.
Poinsettias have long been touted as toxic to dogs and cats. While this is true, the sap is only mildly toxic. If your dog or cat rubs against any of the sap, it can irritate the skin. If it is ingested, stomach upset and diarrhea may occur. If your pet gets into your poinsettia, call your local Animal Emergency Clinic or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-800-426-4435.
Mistletoe can also cause gastric upset. The safer bet is to use silk plants instead of real ones whenever possible, or keep away from household pets.
Tinsel, lights and ornaments are sparkly and attractive to dogs and cats. Round glass ornaments are especially coveted by dogs because of their resemblance to balls. You can replace glass ornaments with plastic, but even plastic ornaments can cause obstructions if ingested. A solution which has worked for years in our family (for babies and dogs) is to put up a high ex-pen around the tree or gate off the room in which the tree is located. Training throughout the year (Off command) to leave the tree alone is also helpful.
Ornament hooks. Gah. When my kids were little I removed all of these and replaced them with red ribbon. I figured the ribbon would do far less damage than those hooks if accidentally ingested by kid or dog. Putting more attractive ornaments toward the top of the tree is also an option, but if you have a large dog or a dog that can climb on things to get to the ornaments it doesn’t help much. If you have large dogs they can simply knock over the tree. I currently have one that resembles the Leaning Tower Of Pisa.
Holiday cocktails are yum, let’s face it folks. But they are not yum for our dogs. Keep alcohol up and away from your dog’s reach. Rather than worrying about where everyone in your house sits their drinks, do your self a favor and put your dog in another room with a cozy bed and some of their toys to minimize the chances of them getting hold of anything they shouldn’t. This also helps with folks feeding your pooch(es) foods that could cause you a lot of headaches later (diarrhea, anyone?)
You can find these and other holiday safety tips at aspca.org.
We hope everyone’s holidays are filled with love and laughter and can’t wait to see what everyone is up to in the new year! Happy Holidays friends!