Holiday Hazards – Let’s keep your pets safe this Christmas!

Toxic Holiday Plants Although very pretty there are several plants to keep your pets away from, some can be harmful, toxic and even deadly…

  • Christmas Trees – the pine needles from the tree if ingested can cause oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and trembling. Always be sure your pet is supervised when in the same room or area as your Christmas tree and discourage them from going near it at all times.
  • Holly – these plants can cause diarrhea, depression and vomiting, either avoid plants like this or keep them in an area where pets cannot go.
  • Mistletoe – usually stored high but can fall or be found in other Christmas arrangements. Can cause intense vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, erratic behavior, hallucinations, collapse and death.
  • Poinsettias – these are very common in this season and can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach and sometimes vomiting.

Food Hazards Some most popular holiday goodies are extremely toxic and fatal to pets…

  • Chocolate – Although this toxicity is commonly known, pet owners often forget this time of year and wrap chocolates with other presents and leave them under the tree where pets can reach. The levels of fat, caffeine and methylxanthines can cause vomiting, diarrhea, urination, hyperactivity, heart arrhythmias, tremors and seizures.
  • Fat Trimmings & Bones – Although these “treats” may seem harmless, fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis. Bones are choking hazards and can splinter causing an obstruction or laceration in your dogs digestive system.
  • Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios and Macadamia nuts can cause upset stomach, obstruction in throat or intestinal tract, seizures or neurological signs. Lethargy, vomiting and loss of muscle control can also be effects from ingestion.
  • Ornaments & Tinsel – These are not only harmful to children but pets as well…
  • Tinsel – While not toxic, tinsel is very attractive to pets and if ingested this shiny decoration twists and bunches inside your pets intestines and can cause many fatal issues like intestine rupture. Other less dangerous options are available.
  • Ornaments – These bright colourful decorations can look amazing however keep glass, aluminum and paper and smaller ornaments high up on your tree to avoid your pets from chewing or swallowing them. These can not only act as a choking hazard but sharp edges can cause lacerations in the mouth, throat and intestines.

Gift Wrapping: Beware of what your putting under the tree…Just like tinsel, gift wrapping decorations (ribbons, bows, tags) can be very attractive to chew on and swallow. These gifts should be kept away from pets and not left under the tree unsupervised. While opening gifts, ensure that everything is cleaned up quickly as pets may come and “steal” pieces of ribbon, bows or even wrapping paper. All of these things can cause choking, intestine rupture, intestine twisting – leading to emergency surgery or even death.

Lighting & Candles: Even lights and candles can be harmful without supervision…

  • Candles – Always keep candles in a hard to reach spot. Hot wax and open flame can cause burns to any part of the body and cats that may like to rub up against things can knock over candles causing a fire to break out. Also ensure any open flame is supervised and if just blown up ensure your pet is not able to reach the candle until it is cooled.
  • Lighting – Twinkling dangling lights seem like a great toy to your pet however if the line is chewed they can be electrically shocked, or even tangled up in the lines and injured. Check lighting lines for fraying or teeth marks and remove them from the area or throw them away.

Have a great SAFE holiday!

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