Holiday Pet Safety Tips
As the holiday season and its subsequent feasts begin, it is important that you make sure your pets stay away from certain food scraps. Chocolate is infamously known to be harmful to dogs and cats, however other sweets and baked goods like cupcakes, candy, and chewing gum can lead to liver failure and even death. Onions, raisins, grapes, and fatty foods can be hard for animals to digest and can cause pancreatitis and stomach upset. Yeast dough can also cause problems for the digestive system in pets and lead to potentially dangerous symptoms like bloating.
At a party with many guests and little ones running around, the danger that Christmas trees and the ornaments that hang on them pose to pets is a notable one. Shattered ornaments can not only cause problems for your pets on the outside, but also internally if they are ingested. Tinsel and other holiday decorations can also be tempting for pets to eat. If they do, intestinal blockage may occur. Make sure to not leave any boxes of these items laying around and fasten them correctly. Electric lights can cause burns when pets chew on the electrical cords, and candles may become a fire hazard if a pet or guest were to knock one over. Festive holiday plants that shed pine needles can also pose a danger to the skin or when ingested as well. Just remember to always be mindful where and what your pet is around!
During holiday parties, it is advised to hire pet sitters or place your pet in a stress-free environment due to the dangerous decorations or distracting bright lights that may be lurking in the environment. If not, make sure to keep your pet away from adult holiday beverages, unattended plates of human food, holiday decor, toxic plants, and stress-inducing factors such as new visitors, loud noises, etc. It’s also a good idea to microchip your pet or provide them with proper identification, as they will have a higher likelihood of being discovered if they were to sneak out.
In order to ensure a safe holiday season for your pet, it’s important to avoid certain seasonal plants consisting of poinsettias, mistletoe, pine, azalea, and hollies that may result in internal damage in the gastrointestinal tract when consumed. Furthermore, large varieties of lilies can also result in renal damage/kidney failure, so make sure to keep these common holiday plants far from your pets’ reach.
During this busy holiday season, one of the biggest holiday dangers is traveling with your pets. Whether it’s traveling by car or air, it can induce feelings of stress and anxiety in your pet due to the change in their normal routine. Pets in cars or trucks should never be left in the vehicle, especially in cold weather, and they should be safely restrained, away from any airbags. When traveling by air, on the other hand, it could be potentially dangerous to pets’ health, especially short-snouted ones, so it’s smart to consult your veterinarian about it before traveling.