Pet Care: Holiday Safety Tips

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During the holiday season it is important to keep a close eye on your animals, especially around food and decorations. Here are some common hazards to watch out for.

    • Rich, fatty foods, like gravy or grease. If consumed by animals, this can cause problems
       such as an upset stomach and even pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas resulting
       in pain, vomiting and dehydration). As well, bones can be very dangerous and even fatal
       to pets if swallowed.

    • Alcohol. Many dogs are attracted to the sweet taste of some alcoholic beverages
       however, if consumed, your pet can become easily become intoxicated. If ingested, your
       pet may become weak, ill and may even go into a coma. A dog can die from only a small
       amount of alcohol therefore it is important to keep drinks out of your pet’s reach and to
       clean up glasses and left over drinks after a party.

    • Chocolate, coffee, and tea. All of these contain dangerous components called xanthines,
       which cause nervous or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation.
       Consumption can cause problems ranging from diarrhea to seizures and even death. Be
       sure to place all fudge, candy, chocolate and other potentially harmful food and drinks
       out of your pet’s reach.

    • Uncooked yeast dough. Consumption of baking materials such as this can cause expansion
       and the production of gas in the digestive system; this will cause pain and can even
       rupture the stomach or intestines.

    • Grapes and raisins. These contain an unknown toxin, which can damage a pet’s kidneys
       and should therefore not be consumed.

    • Macadamia nuts. These nuts also contain an unknown toxin that can affect the digestive

       system, nervous system and muscles of dogs.

    • Holly (leaves and berries). If ingested, holly may cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting
       and diarrhea. Holly can be potentially fatal to both dogs and cats.

    • Mistletoe. If consumed, mistletoe will upset your pet’s stomach and can cause heart
       problems.

    • Hibiscus. If ingested hibiscus may cause diarrhea.

    • Poinsettias. These plants have an irritating sap that can cause blistering in your pet’s
       mouth as well as stomach upset.

    • Lilies. If ingested, lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.

    • Ribbons, yarn, and string. These can cause intestinal obstruction and bunching of the
       intestine along the length of the string. Conditions such as this require surgery and may 
       even be fatal.

    • Tree needles. These can be toxic to your pet and cause mouth and stomach irritation.
       Even the needles from artificial trees can pose a problem.

    • Tinsel.  If consumed, tinsel can cause blockages, which often require surgery to remove.

    • Angel hair, flocking, and artificial snow. These products are only mildly toxic however, if
       consumed in large amounts they can cause blockages of the intestine.

    • Electrical cords, including light cords. If chewed on, electrical cords can cause problems
       including burned mouths, electrical shock and death by electrocution.

    • Glass ornaments. Sharp ornament hooks and glass decorations can become embedded in
       your pet’s mouth or esophagus and can cause serious lacerations to the mouth.

In order to protect your pet from these holiday dangers be sure to put food away immediately, and pet-proof your garbage. Place plants well out of your pet’s reach and make sure to unplug decorative lights when you are not home. Place any small, shiny or breakable ornaments high up on your tree and do not decorate with food. If you take your pet to friends or families homes be sure to keep an eye on them, especially around food and decorations.

From all of us at Absorbent Products Ltd., have a safe and happy holiday!

Image by mnapoleon