Ho-ho-holiday Pet Hazards

You probably know the ins and outs of pet safety, but no one wants to see a pet sick over the holidays. Here are some of the hazards you will undoubtedly want to avoid:

holidayhazards-mistletoePoisonous plants

Did you know it’s a common myth that poinsettias are deadly to dogs and cats? Not true actually… According to the Pet Poison Helpline, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plants are only mildly toxic to cats and dogs and typically cause mild signs of vomiting, drooling, or rarely, diarrhea. So, worry pas or worry less.

Here, are some holiday plants that are poisonous, and should be kept away from pets:

  • Mistletoe
  • Holly
  • Lilies (including amaryllis, a popular Christmas gift)
  • Daffodils (another popular gift)
  • Pine needles (mildly toxic, but potentially bad news for the digestive tract)

holidayhazards-tinselTree dangers

Perhaps more seductive than catnip, your Christmas tree poses several potential hazards.Pine needles (mildly toxic, but potentially bad news for the digestive tract)

  • Christmas ornaments (hand them out of kitty or puppy reach)
  • Tinsel (avoid, avoid, avoid; use actual tin tinsel which is prettier anyway!)
  • Lights (again keep them above chomping level)
  • Edible decorations (popcorn, cranberries can cause tugging and tree toppling)
  • Tree preservative (just use plain water, not chemicals if you have pets)

If you have a pet who won’t leave the tree alone, you may want to consider putting your tree in a corner so you can secure the tree to the wall with strings; use only non-breakable ornaments; and use strings rather than hooks on the ornaments to make it more difficult for your little darling to destroy your decorating.

holidayhazards-snowglobeOther possible holiday hazards

  • Snowglobes from offshore sources are often filled with antifreeze
  • Liquid potpourri may smell nice but heating your scented oils in a simmer pot can cause serious harm to your cat; even a few licks can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing, and tremors.
  • Chocolate (the darker, the more toxic)
  • Toys (especially little pieces) can be ingested and cause blockages
  • Cooked turkey bones (just don’t; feed your dog and cat a healthy holiday feast instead)
  • Burning candles (keep away from tails and curious pups and kittens)
  • Foods containing grapes, raisins and currants (such as fruitcake) can result in kidney failure in dogs
  • Sugarless gums, candies, and chocolate containing xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to dogs. It causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure.

Outdoor hazards

Just because it’s important to be prepared:

  • Antifreeze
  • Chemical ice melters
  • Rat and mouse bait
  • Street salt can be irritating to paws and pads
  • Outdoor cats will often climb in engines or wheel wells to stay warm
  • It is illegal to leave your dog tied outside for more than 30 minutes at any time of year, but especially in winter, keep dogs and cats indoors if you’re not with them

A safe and happy holiday season from Global Pet Foods New Brunswick!

Happy Eid’ul-Adha, Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Lucia, Hanukkah, Christmas, Ramadan, Saint Nicholas, Eid al-Fitr, Kwanzaa, Omisoka, Yule, Saturnalia… and Festivus for the rest of us!