As we nestle into the depths of the holiday season, there are many temptations for our four-leggeds to feast on – many of which may not necessarily be in the form of food. A variety of holiday edibles and decorations can be harmful to pets. So while relishing in the spirit with all members of the family, I offer these tips on keeping pets safe amidst the frivolity:
Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia are hazardous to pets. Keep these out of reach of all animals, especially cats which have access to higher places.
Christmas trees are also a potential danger for several reasons. Tinsel, ornaments, garlands and raffia are eye-candy to cats which can become choking hazards. Even pine needles can upset their stomachs. Try to avoid decorating the lower branches and use a deterrent like ‘bitter apple’ to keep them at bay. You might also consider securing the tree by anchoring it to a wall if you have a tree climbing cat or Rover with a big, waggy tail.
Trees need water and so do pets. Keep it pure and don’t add preservatives like sugar or aspirin to the bowl of the tree stand.
Electrical cords, such as those for light strings, are very dangerous if pets chew on them. Lighted candles should be placed in safe areas.
The hustle and bustle of the season can be stressful to many animals. If entertaining, ask your guests not to feed your pets people food. Many are toxic such as: apple/cherry seeds, chocolate, avocado, onions, coffee, and raisins.
Cooked chicken and turkey bones are very brittle which could shatter and possibly choke your pet. A small steak can even become lodged in a pet’s throat, stomach or intestine.
Are you having fun yet? Of course you are because now you can relax and rejoice in the festivities knowing your pets are safe. Pull out the catnip and stuff a Kong so everyone can enjoy the merriment!