The holidays are a time of food, fun, and family—unfortunately, the holidays also bring a few pet hazards to be aware of. Use these tips from your Gresham, OR veterinarian to keep your four-legged companion safe from harm.
Poinsettias, while not necessarily toxic, can secrete a milky sap substance that may be irritable to a pet’s mouth, throat, and stomach if swallowed. Holly and mistletoe have also proven to produce toxic reactions in pets who ingest them. Keep your pet far away from any and all holiday plants to be safe.
Plenty of tasty foods abound during the holiday season, and many of them aren’t good for pets. The list of potentially harmful human foods for pets includes chocolate, candy, gum, onions, garlic, chives, caffeine, salt, certain types of nuts, grapes, raisins, and many more. Keep your pet out of the kitchen when preparing your holiday meal, and feed them their own dinner during mealtimes.
Many pets see sparkly tinsel and ornaments as fun playthings. Unfortunately, they can cause choking and intestinal obstruction if swallowed. Plus, a pet trying to get at these items may pull over the entire tree on top of themselves!
Also make sure your pet doesn’t get under the tree, where the anchor supports it. The base contains stagnant water (assuming you’re decorating with a real tree, that is) that may contain bacteria and other contaminants that pets shouldn’t consume.
It’s best not to include your pet in your holiday gift-wrapping sessions this time of year. Many wrapping supplies—wrapping paper, twine, string, tape, bows, ribbons, etc.—can be swallowed by pets, which you don’t want. Also take care not to leave scissors lying around on the floor where pets (or human family members) could step on them and cut themselves.
It’s quite easy for pets to become overwhelmed by the high level of activity during the holidays, especially if they have a shy disposition. Set up a pet “safe zone” to protect against stress and anxiety—in a quiet back room, set up a pet bed, a few blankets, and some favorite toys. Lead your pet here if you see them becoming anxious.
Would you like further helpful tips to help keep your animal companion healthy and happy this time of year? Call your Gresham, OR vet’s office for more holiday safety tips.