Dangers of the Holiday Season

Dec 12, 2019   Tracey Aston   Pet Safety

The holidays have an energy and excitement all their own! As pet parents, we want our furry family members included in the celebrations, and with a few precautions, our pets can safely enjoy making those memories with us!

Ribbons, tinsel and gift wrap pose a serious danger to our pets if ingested. While they are not toxic themselves, they can get caught in your pet's stomach or intestines, leading to a life threatening blockage. They are also a choking hazard.

Holiday trees can pose risks of being knocked over on a pet, ornaments breaking or becoming a choking hazard and the additives used to keep live holiday trees fresh are extremely toxic to pets. Put ornaments and decorations up high enough so your pet can't get into them. Pets may try to play with or eat ornaments leading to lacerations or a choking hazard.

Holly, Poinsettia and Mistletoe are toxic to our pets. Keep all holiday plants out of the reach of pets.

Light strands and indoor and outdoor decorations can be an electrocution risk if the electrical cords are chewed on or scratched. Hide all cords under a rug, or tie them up.

Holiday lighting and lit candles must be placed out of reach of pets. A knocked over candle can seriously burn a pet, or lead to a fire emergency!

All the yummy smells! The holidays come with family gatherings and dinners, and a pet won't fail to notice if a cookie is dropped or a fall of food is left unattended. Chocolate, sugar free candies containing Xylitol and many kinds of nuts are toxic to our pets. Keep all cookies, candies, cakes and stockings where pets can't try to sneak a taste.  Keep the trash can lid closed or out of the reach of a pet. Those yummy smells don't go away just because they moved to the trash can.

Many toys and electronics require batteries - make sure there are none left out for a pet to reach! Batteries pose several risks - choking hazards, chemical burns if chewed on and poisoning if ingested!

When leaving the home, unplug all decorations and double check all candles and potpourri to avoid a fire risk while your pet is home alone.

If you are taking your pet with you to holiday gatherings, make sure they are travelling safely in the car. Our articles Safely Traveling in a Vehicle with Pets and Traveling with a Cat are a great read before planning any holiday trip with your pets.

A few strategically placed items and a watchful eye can ensure all family members remain safe and happy well into the New Year!

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