Protect Your Pet from Holiday Hazards
By : Rita Stadler
Year after year, we deck the halls with bows and holly – sometimes we even sing “Fa-la-la-la,” along the way! We plan a special holiday menu, prepare delicious desserts, and maybe hang a bit of mistletoe above the doorway. Holidays are fun for the whole family, so even the pets get a special stocking placed with care. Last year, our dog won the prize for Best Ugly Christmas Sweater!
As much fun as it is to include our furry family members in holiday fun, we’re asking you to pause for a moment of caution. Calls to the ASPCA and Pet Poison Helpline surge over the holiday season and your local vet’s office is probably busier than ever. Many holiday treats and décor pose a hidden danger to cats and dogs. While our attention is drawn to Christmas lists and Hallmark movie marathons, our pets could find themselves in some serious trouble.
Consider these common situations you might encounter this time of year, and check out the easy ways to reduce the risks for your family pet.
Holiday Safety Tips for Pets
Clean Up After You Clean Up. Lots of us are rushing to put things away just before the big meal. I know I’m not the only one who has quickly stashed cleaning supplies in the garage when the doorbell rang. Paints, lawn, and garden treatments, along with cleaning supplies are all common pet poisons. Be sure to seal them tightly and place them in cupboards that even the most stealthy cats and visiting dogs can’t reach.
Pet-Friendly Gifts. I love gift-giving, but if your recipient has pets, be cautious of house plants. Some of the most popular gifts of the season include Poinsettias and Easter Lilies which can be toxic to cats and dogs. Poinsettias can also bring in white flies.
Please Don’t Feed The Animals. Do your best to keep snacks like potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn to yourselves. Salty snacks can cause sodium ion poisoning in pets. Nuts are off-limits too. The high amount of oil and fat can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis. And while you might think grapes and raisins would be a good alternative, both of these fruits have been associated with kidney failure in pets.
House Guests Bring New Things Your Pet Will Want To Inspect. If you’re welcoming guests, consider leaving a little note in your guest room, reminding them that your dog or cat may drop by and say hello. For good measure, add a few disposable face masks, and hand sanitizer. Be sure to include a reminder to keep medications sealed tightly. Colorful pills might look a lot like candy, but they can have a not so sweet result.
No Bones About It. We know Fido is a member of the family, but do yourself a favor, don’t give a dog a bone. Not a turkey bone, not a chicken bone, not even a T-bone. And make sure when you throw them out, your containers are sealed tight. A busy household leaves lots of opportunity for pets to sneak off with some of their favorite things — but bones can be choking hazards. They can also splinter and puncture a pet’s digestive tract.
Be sure to look at things from your pet’s point of view. Each year 7500 pets end up in emergency rooms and veterinary clinics after getting into rat poison. We know you really don’t want a rodent run-in during Christmas dinner, but for your pet’s sake, remove poisons that are laying around the house and consider replacing them with EarthKind’s botanical mouse repellent, Stay Away® Rodent. It’s poison-free, pet-safe, and guaranteed effective. Plus the balsam fir scent will add a festive smell to your home!
For more information about how to keep rodents out of your home over the holidays, and all year long, check out this story with EarthKind’s own pest prevention expert from Martha Stewart.