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Christmas Pet Hazards

Tis' the season for decorations and delicious food. Celebrations with family and friends. And all of these wonderful things can bring some dangers to your pets. Be aware of the hazards that can affect your pet this Christmas season.

Now we hope it never happens but you should prepare for an emergency. It is good to have the phone numbers saved somewhere that is easy to access for emergency situations.

Food hazards for pets

  • Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. It does depend on the type of chocolate and how much the pet eats vs. the weight of the pet however it is best to consider all chocolate toxic.
  • Xylitol is a artificial sweetener found in many baked goods, candy and chewing gum. It has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
  • Turkey and turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in pets.
  • Table scraps including gravy and meat fat should not be given to pets. Many table scraps are extra rich and fattening making it hard for pets to digest and can lead to pancreatitis. Other foods that are poisonous to pets are onions, raisins and grapes.
  • Yeast dough can cause problems for pets: painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating

Decoration Dangers

  • Christmas Trees can fall on pets if they try to climb them. Try to secure your tree by tying it to the ceiling of door frame with fishing line.
  • Water Additives for tree can be a danger. Do not add anything to your tree water.
  • Ornaments, tinsel and decorations can be a danger to pets also. If they are broken they can cause injury and if ingested can cause an intestinal blockage.
  • Lights can cause burns if a pet chews on a cord
  • Flowers and plants can be poisonous for pets. Poinsettias, amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are the common Christmas plants that can be dangerous or poisonous.
  • Candles are dangerous if a pet would knock it over and start a fire.
  • Potpourris can be dangerous to pets. Liquid ones can have essential oils or cationic detergents that can cause damage to eyes, skin and mouth. Solid potpourris can be harmful if ingested.

Parties and Visitors

  • All pets need to have a safe, quiet place that they can go to. A room or crate away from all they people that it can get to at any time.
  • Nervous pets can have a difficult time this season with all of the visitors and changes in the house. There are different things you can do for your pet. Contact your veterinarian for options.
  • Other pets that either come to your house or if you take your pet to someone’s house that has pets can pose a risk. If you are not sure if the pets will get a long then either leave your pet home or ask them to leave their pet home. You can also arrange it where the pets meet with close supervision prior to the event.
  • Watch for escaping pets. With people coming in and out make sure to watch your pets closely so they don’t get out.
  • Microchips and ID Tags are a must. If your pet does escape you are much more likely to have them returned to you if you have these.
  • Make sure food and garbage stay out of pets reach. They can cause many issues depending on what the pet gets in to.

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