Holidays are a very busy time for most people. Shopping for and wrapping gifts, travel, house guests, and holiday decorating can make things quite overwhelming – and potentially dangerous for our curious pets.
Here are some things to keep in mind this season:
- If you put up a Christmas tree or hang wreaths in your home be sure to anchor them securely, or out of reach when possible.
- Avoid breakable ornaments, and be very careful with the small metal fastenings. Animals may step on or swallow them.
- Snow globes often contain antifreeze, which is poisonous to pets. Make sure they are safely displayed out of reach and don’t have any leaks.
- Tinsel, ribbon and garland is the equivalent of a neon welcome sign for your curious kitty.
- Pine needles can be toxic when eaten by your pet so son’t let them linger on the floor.
- Prevent your pet from drinking water in the tree stand: chemical preservatives can be poisonous to pets, and stagnant water can contain bacteria, which may lead to vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. *Very important: do not put aspirin in the water. If a pet ingests the aspirin-laced water, his health or even life can be at risk.
Holiday house plants
Plants are really appealing this time of year, and not just to humans. Swatting and chewing on plants is so much fun for some animals. Keep these potentially dangerous holiday plants of cheer well out of reach.
- Lilies can be deadly to cats, and many types can cause cats to have kidney failure.
- Poinsettias can upset your pet’s digestive system.
- Mistletoe, especially the berries, is highly toxic, can cause stomach upset and has the potential to cause fatal heart problems.
- Holly can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and lethargy.
- Amaryllis can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
- Hibiscus can cause diarrhea.
For more information check out this great resource list from Two Dog Townhouse.
Lights, candles and fragrance
- Keep lights and extension cords safely secured or covered to deter chewing, which can lead to electric shock or even electrocution. Better yet, invest in pet-proof extension cords, or spray with products such as Bitter Apple or Chew Stop.
- Candles can be fragrant and enticing to pets. But they can be a fire hazard if knocked over by an exuberant pet, and the fumes can be harmful to birds.
- Pets can get burned from leaning in to sniff the flame.
- Liquid potpourri and sachets can be very dangerous. Exposure can cause skin or oral damage to your pet and may cause illness or death.
Activities During the Holidays
Holiday guests in your home and/or your absence when visiting outside your home can be very stressful and even frightening to pets; it can also trigger illness and intestinal upset.
- Make sure pets have a safe place to retreat in your house.
- Make sure pets are wearing current I.D. in case they escape out a door when guests come and go.
- If bringing your pets along to visit friends and family, make sure there is a space they can relax in if things get too rambunctious. Bring a crate or carrier with their own toys and blanket to help them feel secure.
- Reduce stress by keeping feeding and exercise on a regular schedule.
- Limit the amount of “extras” you give your pets; they can pack on the weight just like we can, and certain foods like chocolate, onions and grapes are harmful to them.