Keeping Your Pets Safe this Holiday
The holidays come with an extra bag of tricks when it comes to animal shenanigans so it can be especially difficult to keep your dogs and cats safe. Here are some things to look out for:
- Tinsel, garland, tree ornaments. These can cause gastrointestinal foreign bodies if ingested.
- Plants: Lilies, Mistletoe, Poinsettia, Holly, Rosemary. These are all toxic. Don’t let your pets near them.
- Potpourri. This is also toxic and can cause severe ulcers in the mouth. Keep this away from your pets.
- Human medications. If you have holiday visitors, make sure they keep their meds out of reach of your pets. Left in suitcases, these meds can be a temptation to your animals and can be toxic to them.
- Electric cords and Christmas tree lights. Keep your pets away from them. These can cause oral burns and/or electrocution.
- Batteries. We need them for the toys and presents we give, but pets eat them. These erode in their stomachs
- Chocolate covered—you name it—given as gifts under the tree. Coffee beans, macadamia nuts, raisins, all toxic causing anything from elevated heart rate and blood pressure, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea, kidney failure, etc. If you have purchased anything with these products, or just plain chocolate, and are going to give them as gifts, don’t put the wrapped gifts under the tree—keep them locked up—as a dog’s sense of smell is amazingly sensitive and they will sniff them out and eat them when left alone and given the chance.
- Holiday foods. While lean skinless turkey is a great source of protein and vegetables are a good, low-calorie source of fiber, be aware that cheese, sour cream, and butter are a no-no. Also, avoid turkey and chicken skins, fat and gravy. Excess fat can cause gastrointestinal issues in pets, including vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis. In addition, onions, garlic, leeks and scallions, can lead to toxic anemia if eaten in large quantities.
- Grapes and raisins. These can be toxic to your pets and can cause kidney failure in dogs.
- Bones are attractive to pets but can cause severe problems, including gastrointestinal upset, obstruction and even perforation (which can be life-threatening).
- Xylitol. Found in many chewing gums and sugarless candies, xylitol is poisonous to your pet.
- Alcohol. What we may consider a small amount can be toxic for your dog or cat. Keep that in mind this holiday season.
CUVS is here for you and your pet 24/7. We are located at 880 Canal Street in Stamford, CT. 203-595-2777. www.cuvs.org.