CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The holidays are a fun time for people, but they can bring some dangers for your pets.
It’s important to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits during the holidays as close to their normal routine as possible. Try to keep your pets away from unhealthy treats, toxic plants, and dangerous decorations.
According to the ASPCA, these are some common problems for pets during this festive time of year.
Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations
- Secure your Christmas tree: The ASPCA advises securing your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water from spilling. Which may contain fertilizers that can cause your pet’s stomach to become upset. ASPCA says “stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe it.”
- Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Pets can also suffer from Holly when ingested, which can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. ASPCA suggests an alternative like artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
- Be careful of using tinsel: A light-catching “toy” like tinsel is easy for cats to bat around and carry in their mouths. However, if swallowed it can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration, and possible surgery. It’s rather best to brighten boughs with something other than tinsel, ASPCA recommended.
- Don’t leave lighted candles unattended: Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface is urged. Another reminder is to always put any burning candle out before exiting any room.
- Keep wires, batteries, and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach: A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus. Shards of breakable ornaments can also damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.
Avoid Holiday Food Dangers
- Skip the Sweets: Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
- Leave the Leftovers: Fatty, spicy, and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends.
- Careful with Cocktails: If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, ASPCA indicates your pet can become weak, and ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
- Selecting Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? ASPCA suggests sticking with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods, or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the riskiest toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn, and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy, or the interactive cat dancer.
And if you plan on having company over, give your pet his or her own quiet space to retreat to complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle.