Nothing ruins your holiday fun faster than an emergency trip to the vet.Keep Fido and Mittens happy and healthy by watching out for these potential hazards:
Christmas trees.Never leave your dog or cat unsupervised with a Christmas tree.Eating the tinsel or ornaments might cause serious intestinal problems.Chewing the cord for the tree lights might give them an electric shock, or cause a fire.Even the water at the base of the tree might contain preservatives or bacteria.If possible, keep your pets in a room away from the Christmas tree when you’re not home.Otherwise, try surrounding the tree with sticky mats, crumpled tin foil, or even training mats which emit a mild electric shock when touched.
Holiday plants.Holly, mistletoe, lilies and poinsettias are all toxic to animals.Pine needles can also puncture their intestines if swallowed.
Food.Resist the temptation to share your holiday feast with your pets.“Human food” can cause digestive problems or pancreatitis in animals.Some foods are even toxic, such as chocolate, alcohol, coffee, macadamia nuts, onions and raisins.Small bones can splinter and lodge in a pet’s throat.Keep food and leftovers out of their reach.Secure your kitchen trash against curious, wet little noses.
Decorations.Keep candles, wreaths, snowglobes, snow flock and styrofoam out of reach of pets.
Holiday parties.A house full of strangers and noise can spook your pets.The commotion may also give them an opportunity to run out the door.Secure them in a closed, quiet room before guests arrive, with food, water and a favorite bed or blanket.Make sure they’re wearing an up-to-date ID tag, just in case.
If you suspect that your pet has eaten something toxic, contact your vet immediately, or call the ASPCA’s 24 hour emergency hotline at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP.Have a safe and happy holiday!