Safe for Christmas: Holiday Pet Safety

There is so much activity and amazing things going on over the holidays, it is easy to overlook some things that may be putting your pets in danger. Have a safe holiday by following these great holiday pet safety tips.

If your cat or dog eats anything and becomes lethargic, has excessive diarrhea or vomiting, you should call your vet immediately.

Don’t Forget the Food

Chocolate

Chocolate is never ok for your pets, never.

Chocolate is bad for cats and dogs. It can cause illness and even death. Keep your chocolate out of reach of your pets, like in a cabinet. Sometime counter tops are not out of reach enough, especially if you have cats that like to get on tables or counter tops. Another good idea is to explain to your kids why chocolate is bad for you pets so they don’t sneak them any sweet treats. Just because they are bad for your pets doesn’t mean that they wont beg for it, so stay strong and keep the chocolate for the humans.

Table Scraps

A lot of us feed our pets table scraps throughout the year, so you might ask why you can’t give them table scraps now. But Christmas table scraps are different from normal food because of the different ingredients in the holiday feast. Many of the spices used in traditional holiday food is toxic for your pet and can cause some pretty serious reactions, onions and Turkey bones not being the only danger.

If you want to give your dog some nice food for the holiday then check out some of our great homemade dog food recipes for a safe way to share in the special feast.

Trim the Tree

Christmas Tree

We all love the big beautiful Christmas tree. However, these trees can be heavy and could hurt your pet if it fell over on top of them. Most people don’t realize that your tree stand is what gives it stability. Make sure that you have a properly fitting stand for the height of your tree and that your tree is secured so it can’t fall over.

Some pets like to eat the tree. Fir trees (Christmas trees) are mildly toxic and can cause mouth and stomach irritation. You may notice your pet vomiting if they have been chewing on your tree.

The tree water is also very tempting, but has the potential to be hazardous. The water may have pesticides, preservatives or fertilizer. It is also common for people to put Asprin in the water which can be dangerous for your pet. Though vets often prescribe Aspirin, it is  given in very low dosage and the content in the water can be higher than the recommended dose.

String and Tinsel

We love to put string, tinsel and ribbon on the tree and your pet loves that you put them on. To them they look like wonderfully sparkly toys to play with and chew on. Swallowing string and tinsel can cause serious gastrointestinal problems, so make sure they are either secured firmly to the tree or out of reach of your furry friend. Also letting your pet tug and pull on the string can cause your tree to fall over and could cause injury to you or your pet.

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights set the mood for the whole season. But do you remember that scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when the cat bites the string of lights? Well, as funny as the scene in the movie was, in real life it is not so funny. Cover any wire on the ground with a wire cover (tape will work) to keep exposed wire covered so your dog or cat cannot chew on it.

Watch the Plants

Mistletoe and Holly are the most toxic of the holiday plants. Mistletoe will cause gastrointestinal upset and in bad cases can cause death, though this is rare. Holly will have more serious effects, though the berries are the most toxic part and most places remove the real berries and replace them with plastic berries.  Poinsettias are not actually toxic for your pets. So feel free to decorate with this pretty festive plant.

Now you know the dangers of the season, go and have a safe and wonderful holiday with your family on  four legs as well as two. If you have any questions about your pets holiday safety, please call Vetco and we can answer your questions.