Keeping Pets Safe During the Holidays

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a joyous occasion where we get to spend precious time with our loved ones and create new memories we will cherish forever. Our homes start to resemble a Charles Dickens novel and get filled with festive decor, jingly bells, lively Christmas carols and decadent treats. Although none of these things can harm a person, consideration must be made for our pets.

cat under the Christmas tree

Pet Safety is Important to Remember
During the Holidays!

I personally have four cats and I know the dangers of giving them or have lying around, foods that can harm them. Chocolate is abundantly available at Christmas and no doubt we will consume more than our fair share. Chocolate is a very dangerous and poisonous food for pets. It can cause gastrointestinal issues, heart problems, seizures, and even death, especially for dogs. Raisins are another food that can cause acute kidney failure in cats and dogs. Christmas cake is loaded with raisins and small fruit pieces that can fall from our plates and potentially harm an animal. Macadamia nuts can cause vomiting, tremors, and weakness. It’s best to keep your pet on their regular diet but if you want to spoil them, give them treats that are made specifically for pets. My cats love organic squash baby food.

A recent survey on the craziest things pet have eaten, may surprise and alarm you. Underwear, cellphones, used diapers and shoes, oh my! Cell phones are among the top household items pets will munch on. People may not realize how risky this is. Batteries, including those from cell phones, contain acidic or alkaline chemicals and heavy metals that are toxic to animals. Some batteries can pass an electric current that may damage or kill healthy tissue. The best precaution is to keep them in a safe place away from our inquisitive pets.

Open flame candles and liquid potpourri may create a special ambiance and be sentimentally appealing but can cause severe harm to a pet. The scented oils contain toxins that are poisonous to all pets. One lick could cause a chemical burn in their mouth followed by tremors, and difficulty breathing.

Poinsettia plant with christmas ornametns - deposit

Poinsettias are beautifully festive and associated with Christmas. They are part of the lily family and mildly toxic to cats. Symptoms are vomiting, drooling and sometimes diarrhea, but why put your pet through this if it can be avoided.

Ornaments glitter and sparkle and attract the attention of our pets. Our cats love the stringed Christmas lights that flicker and were constantly jumping up trying to get them so we had to remove them. Any decorations that hang or dangle are open game to our furry family members. Small jingle bells make just the right kind of noise to mesmerize our pets and in one quick jump, they can have the bell in their mouth and swallow it.

Tinsel is another product that may seem harmless. It may be cute to watch a cat chase and play with tinsel but if they ingest it, it will cause severe intestinal issues. It can get wrapped around their tongue and/or intestines requiring surgery.

Our pets are rascals and much like children. They get into everything and want to put things in their mouths that they shouldn’t. Pets are curious and will test out unfamiliar territory so it’s up to us to create a safe environment during the holiday season with them in mind.