The most wonderful time of year is upon us, and while things may feel magical with all of the lights, decorations, and good cheer, it can be a dangerous time of year for our pets. Here are a few holiday hazards to avoid so your furry companions feel merry and bright the whole holiday season through.

Choking hazards

  • Those shiny ornaments might look appealing to your pet, but the broken pieces can damage her digestive tract.
  • Cats love tinsel, but tinsel does not love cats. Swallowing tinsel and other stringy items, like yarn and ribbon, can lead to bowel obstruction, vomiting, dehydration, and even death.
  • Give your pup a new ball that’s too big for him to swallow. Regular-size tennis balls can get lodged in the throat and block the airway.

Fire and burn hazards

  • A curious pet could knock over a burning candle, causing a fire, or could stick her nose near one and burn herself.
  • Those tempting wires might look like a tasty or interesting treat to your pet, but they could deliver a potentially deadly electric shock when chewed.
  • Prevent your pet from chewing a toy with a battery in it—punctured batteries can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.

Toxic substances

  • If holly or mistletoe are ingested, your pet could suffer gastrointestinal upset. Mistletoe can also cause cardiovascular problems.
  • Many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.
  • Christmas tree water could contain fertilizers and bacteria that can cause nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea if ingested.
  • Chocolate, artificial sweeteners (like xylitol), fatty or spicy foods, alcohol, grapes, and other human foods can, at best, cause an upset stomach, and, at worst, be fatal, if pets consume them. Keep the human food on the human table, and give your pets some special animal-friendly holiday treats instead.
  • Human medications should be secured so pets can’t unknowingly get into them.

Stress

  • Give your pets a quiet, calm space away from the craziness and noise of holiday gatherings.
  • Use calming pheromone products, like Adaptil (for dogs) and Feliway (for cats) to mitigate anxiety. These products are available as plug-in diffusers, collars, or sprays.

Questions or concerns about common holiday hazards? Contact us.