While the year-end holiday season is festive & fun, it can create a whole host of problems when pet owners forget about holiday hazards for pets. We hope you enjoy the holidays and offer the following tips to avoid emergency trips to the vet hospital.
Holiday Hazards for Pets: Holiday Plants
Many people like to bring traditional holiday plants into the house during the year-end holidays. But many of these holiday plants are either toxic or down-right deadly to your dogs & cats. Poinsettia plants are the most well-known holiday plant toxic to pets. Here’s a look at other holiday plants that can harm your pets:
- Holly – Can cause nausea, vomiting & diarrhea in dogs & cats.
- Mistletoe – Can cause GI tract problems & damage the heart.
- Seasonal Lilies – Eating seasonal lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.
Holiday Hazards for Pets: Christmas Trees
Christmas trees pose a dizzying array of hazards for cats & dogs. Here are some tips to keep both dogs & cats safe from Christmas tree disasters:
- Stabilize the tree: Secure & stabilize the tree so it doesn’t fall if your cat decides to climb it.
- Water trough: Secure the water trough if it’s a live tree (Water with tree food powder or stagnant tree reservoir water with bacteria can cause a whole host of health problems if your pets drink the water.)
- Protect wiring – Keep wiring for holiday lights secured so pets can’t chew on it.
- Tinsel – Many cats find tinsel irresistible and eat it. Eating tinsel can cause a digestive tract obstruction, vomiting, and dehydration. Avoid tinsel.
Holiday Hazards for Pets: Holiday Candles
With so many great LED candles on the market these days, there’s really no need to burn real candles with a flame. It’s so easy for pets, especially cats, to knock over lighted candles, resulting in burns for pets or a house fire.
Holiday Hazards for Pets: Christmas Toys
Many pet owners buy their pets toys for Christmas & Hanukah. Holiday pet toys often have detailing that can be chewed off and swallowed. Avoid pet toys and holiday pet toys with obvious elements that can be chewed off and swallowed: plastic eyes, protruding elements such as arms, legs, hats & tails. If pets chew and eat a portion of a toy, it can result in lifelong damage to the digestive tract, expensive surgery, or death.
Holiday Hazards for Pets: Toxic Holiday Foods
Many pet parents equate food with love, and like to share holidays feasts with their pets: bad idea. Here’s why:
- Xylitol (an artificial sweetener) causes liver failure and death in dogs. Xylitol is found in gum and low-calorie foods.
- Fatty holiday foods & skin: Fatty foods & even small amounts of turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in pets.
- Yeast dough: Secure yeast dough baking projects. If your pet eats the yeast, it will continue to rise & expand in their stomach, and can cause gas, bloating & a twisted stomach.
- Onions, raisins & grapes: These three items are poisonous to dogs & cats.
Holiday Hazards for Pets: Escapes During the Holiday Season
You know your routine for securing your pets against escape. But guests visiting for the holidays may not be as aware of keeping your pets from escaping, or keeping your pets out of specific areas of the house. After your guests arrive, take the time to brief them on protocol for not letting pets escape out the front door or a gate that’s left open.
The holidays are a particularly wonderful time of the year. By avoiding these holiday hazards for pets, you’ll help avoid emergency trips to the veterinary hospital – and be able to focus on enjoying the holiday season.
Think your dog or cat has been exposed to a toxic holiday plant or food? Contact Sky Canyon Veterinary Hospital, or call us at 970.985.4911 to get advice and/or bring your pet to us for emergency care.