Be aware of new hazards to pets during holidays

December 19, 2013 

During the holidays, there are many new hazards for our pets. Here's a quick reminder to ensure that your pets have a safe and joyous time.

Holiday food: Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis and gastrointestinal issues. Chocolate, coffee, xylitol and onions are toxic to dogs and cats. Rising dough on a counter top is irresistible to some pets, and can cause serious problems.

Don't forget that dogs, cats, birds and small pets can easily consume wrapped food gifts under or on the tree. Not only are the food items a problem, but the wrappers are impossible to digest.

Holiday plants: Many lilies are deadly to cats. Mistletoe, poinsettias and holly cause gastrointestinal upset for all critters. Christmas tree water can be filled with chemicals or bacteria and pine sap is dangerous if ingested. Secure your tree to the wall so your pets can't knock it over.

Decorations: Tinsel, ribbon, ornaments and hooks are attractive to many small animals. If swallowed they may cause internal blockages requiring surgery. Broken glass ornaments can cut paws and mouths. If your pet likes to play with things on the tree, decorate the lower third with unbreakable wood or plastic ornaments.

Candles: Put burning candles in places that are inaccessible to your pets. They could set themselves on fire or tip the candle over and start a fire.

Batteries: Don't leave batteries for those Christmas toys lying around. They are fun to play with, but contain corrosives. If ingested, they can cause mouth ulcerations and intestinal issues.

Tell your pets about any visitors coming, or if you will be away over the holidays, and if things are going to be stressful, give them Rescue Remedy.

Mary J. Getten


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