Beware of These Holiday Pet Hazards

What pet owner doesn’t want to include their furry friend in the holiday festivities? This year, have a blast with all members of your family, but keep your pet’s safety in mind. Below, a veterinarian Santa Rosa tells you about some common holiday hazards to look out for.

  • Watch for various holiday goodies that your pet might like to get her paws on. This includes chocolate, candy and gum, baked goods, and toxic foods like grapes, raisins, onions, fatty substances, salt, buttery and rich foods, and certain nuts. Store these foods where pets can’t reach.
  • Never give bones leftover from your holiday meal to your pets. Cooked or uncooked, bones can easily splinter apart, creating sharp shards that can puncture a pet’s intestinal lining if swallowed. Offer a safe chew toy instead.
  • Setting up a tree this year? Check to make sure it’s securely anchored. You don’t want a pet bumping into the tree and knocking it over, creating a mess and potentially injuring themselves. Plus, it could spill the stagnant water in the tree base, which is a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Some pets, especially cats and kittens, see shiny tinsel as a fun toy. The trouble is, tinsel can obstruct the intestinal tract and cause vomiting and pain if swallowed. If you have curious, playful pets, it’s probably best to avoid tinsel altogether.
  • Make sure you don’t hang ornaments too low on your tree. Some pets may bite them off, swallowing or choking on small pieces.
  • Did you know that common holiday plants like mistletoe, holly, and even poinsettia plants can cause adverse health reactions in pets? They may not be truly poisonous, but eating enough of any foreign substance can cause problems. Poinsettias contain a sticky sap that can irritate a pet’s mouth, leading to drooling or even vomiting. Keep these plants out of your pet’s grasp.
  • Tape down and secure any wires, electrical cords, or holiday light strings. Pets may like to chew on these or get tangled up. Also beware of holiday candles—pets can burn themselves or bump candles over if they get too close.
  • Does your holiday celebration include alcoholic beverages? Remember that all types of alcohol can be lethal to pets, inducing vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and worse. Never leave drinks unattended.

Would you like to learn about other potential holiday hazards to keep your pet away from? Call your veterinary clinic in Santa Rosa today.