Seasonal safety

Posted on: 26 March 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Make Sure Your Pets Have A Happy Christmas Too

Pet owners should remember that with the winter holiday season, there are hazards that could cause problems for animals. Some things to consider inside your home:

  • No Bones Please: Avoid giving bones to your dogs or cats, particularly turkey bones. Poultry bones easily splinter and can cause serious injury, while bone fragments can cause intestinal blockages or lacerations. 

  • Healthy Treats: Chocolate and other sweets should not be given to animals. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that can be deadly to cats and dogs, though not harmful to humans. The best thing you can do for your pets over the holidays is to keep them on their regular diet. Look for special animal treats instead of giving your animals cookies or sweets meant for people. 

  • Poisonous Plants: Many popular holiday plants are poisonous to animals including mistletoe, holly, ornamental pepper, Christmas rose and poinsettias. Remember to keep these plants out of reach of pets - especially birds. 

  • Avoid Tinsel: If you have a Christmas tree and pets, you have a recipe for trouble. First, make sure the tree is well secured. Try to place decorations above paw height and use string to hang the bulbs instead of hooks, which are easily dislodged. If possible, use nonbreakable ornaments. Avoid using tinsel or angel hair. Cats and dogs will ingest both, which can cause intestinal problems. Cords for lights should be made inaccessible to pets - especially from chewing puppies and exploring kittens. 

  • Watch Toys: Avoid purchasing pet toys with small or soft pieces that can be chewed and swallowed. Nylon bones tend to splinter less than plastic ones. Be sure to inspect pet toys regularly and discard deteriorating ones.

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