Christmas Treats and Decorations to Avoid
- Chocolate: Especially bad for dogs. It affects every dog differently, but it can be lethal. Play it safe and hide all chocolate.
- Holidayplants: Mistletoe, holly and lilies are highly toxic to pets, especially cats. Mistletoe and holly both cause gastrointestinal problems and can cause cardiovascular problems. Lilies cause kidney failure in cats – very quickly. If you have cats, just consider lilies off the floral menu. Poinsettias, much maligned as toxic to pets, actually aren’t that bad, according to the ASPCA. They can cause an upset stomach so it’s best to keep them out of reach of your pets, but they are not highly toxic.
- Wires: Hide your wires if at all possible, especially from puppies and kittens. Tape them to the ground or search online for “wire cover” and you’ll find a bunch of ideas of ways to hide your wires from your chewing young ones.
- Gifts: Keep in mind that chowhounds will sniff out anything yummy under a tree – wrapped or not. (I learned this the hard way one day when I came home and my dog had “opened” and chewed up several gifts – both food and non-food items.) Keep food gift items out of reach, as well as anything else that might entice a dog or cat (including ribbons on the tops of packages, which can be ingested, often leading to surgery to remove) or keep your furry friends away from the tree when you’re not around to supervise.
One other winter tip: Keep all pets away from antifreeze in your garage (usually added in the winter). Although it tastes sweet to pets, just one lick off a paw can cause kidney failure and death in cats. Not much more will also kill dogs. According to The Preventative Vet, “the Humane Society of the U.S. estimates that up to 10,000 cats and dogs die each year from exposure to ethylene glycol containing antifreeze.” Keep your pets out of the garage and away from all antifreeze!
By all means, if your pet ingests something it shouldn’t or is showing signs of lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea, get him or her into a vet immediately. For advice, you can also call the ASPCA Poison Control Center, 888-426-4435, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Remember, prevention is the best medicine. Happy holidays to you and your furry family!
By Megan Sever, GalTime.com