It’s that time of year again! As you’re busy trimming the tree, planning the parties, and making the egg nog, we want to make sure your pet is safe from some of the potential holiday hazards. Consider the following five pet holiday safety tips from the team at Animal Clinic of Milford, and contact us if you have any questions. We hope you and your four-legged friend have a wonderful holiday and a prosperous new year!
Real Christmas Trees
Considering getting a real Christmas tree this year? Although having a real Christmas tree has its perks, it can also have some drawbacks if you have a pet. To a thirsty dog or cat, a bucket of Christmas tree water is just an oversized bowl of drinking water, but if that water contains any chemical preservatives, drinking it can be very dangerous. Another potential hazard are the pine needles, which are considered mildly toxic if ingested. So unless your pet is well trained to stay away from the tree or if the tree area is blocked off from your pet, it’s safer to opt for an artificial tree.
Unfortunately, real Christmas trees aren’t the only plants that can be hazardous to pets. Mistletoe, holly, and lilies are a few of the other seasonal plants on the “dangerous” list. If ingested, these plants can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and even kidney failure if treatment isn’t sought. To keep your pet safe from these toxic pets, keep them high and out of your pet’s reach, choose artificial plants instead, or simply choose a different, more pet-friendly decoration.
Tinsel and Garland
They’re shiny, they’re sparkly, and they make our trees beautiful, but that tinsel and garland might not be the best decoration choice if you have a curious pet—especially if that pet is a cat. Many cats are naturally drawn to stringy items like yarn and ribbons, so that tinsel and garland is likely going to attract Kitty, too. If ingested, these decorations can pose a choking or obstruction hazard, which may require surgery to correct. So if you have a curious pet, either avoid buying these decorations altogether or keep them high on your tree, where your pet can’t easily access them.
Tempted to share some of your holiday dinner with your four-legged friend? Before you do, consider the fact that some “people food” is actually toxic to pets. Some of the most common toxic foods to pets include chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts, and the sugar substitute xylitol. If ingested, these foods can leave your pet feeling very sick or worse. Other potentially dangerous foods are those that are high in fat, such as sausage, bacon, and poultry skin. Avoid feeding your pet any of these foods to prevent sickness and weight gain.
Some of the non-toxic foods are apples and carrots (chopped in small pieces), cooked poultry (white meat with no bones or gravy), and green beans. Although these foods are safe and have several health benefits for your pet, make sure to limit the amount you give them. “Everything in moderation.”
With these tips, your pet can have a safe, happy holiday with you. However, if ever you suspect that your pet has eaten a toxic substance or is otherwise in need of emergency care, call Animal Clinic of Milford at (203) 882-8311.