Keeping Your Pets Safe This Christmas – It’s Christmas time!
Keeping Your Pets Safe This Christmas – Don’t let your pet get on the naughty list before Santa arrives!
Winter holidays can be a joyous time for humans yet a dangerous time for our four-legged family members.
The Holiday Feast
For many, celebrating the Christmas holidays and eating good food are synonymous with Thanksgiving. Many foods we love through the holidays can be dangerous for our pets.
Delicious Creamy Chocolate
Chocolate is enjoyed by many yearly and is present s in many baked goods. Did you know that delicious chocolate can be hazardous for a pet like cats and dogs? Which delicious chocolates are one of the most dangerous? Here are some tips to ensure you do not end up in a Veterinary Emergency Clinic with an animal struggling with poisoning from ingesting chocolate.
- Don’t leave chocolate or chocolate-backed good under the tree. Covered or not, your pets will smell them out and help themselves to all they find. Ensure you talk to your friend to keep an eye out for the pets while you serve your guests for the holidays!
- Beware cautious where you place your wrapped gifts in the stockings, and make sure to hang them well out of reach of your pet dogs.
- Keep treats on lower tables or near countertop edges. Please make sure your guests and youngsters are similarly cautious not to drop food and forget to pick it up.
- Remember to be cautious when holiday baking; with all types of chocolate, including extremely dark, holiday baking usually includes delicious chocolate in amounts that can land your family pet in the Animal Emergency.
- Ensure your overnight guests hide their bags and other bags off the flooring and on the door handle in a safely closed space. Besides, it would be best to recognize what overnight guests bring in their suitcases.
Currants & Raisins
The traditional fruitcake delivery door-to-door has mostly gone out of style; several other famous holiday desserts include currants, raisins, and different cookies and cakes, like scrumptious Stolen, Panettone, and also Christmas Puddings. While these dried-out fruits add pleasant chewiness to your desserts, they can likewise be highly hazardous to your dog’s kidneys. Please note that grapes can also cause the same issues as chocolate in dogs.
Mixed Christmas Nuts
It’s necessary to keep all nuts out of your animal’s mouth (as any nut can be a choking danger or even create pancreatitis or intestinal blockage). Still, one type of nut, in particular, can bring additional hazards for your pets.
Given the reduced carbs, healthy and balanced fats, and essential minerals and vitamins, macadamia nuts are a preferred snack during the holidays and on the keto diet regimen.
Yet macadamia nuts can cause shakes, high fever, short-lived, and loss of use in the dog’s legs. And also their ability to trigger pancreatitis and the intestinal obstruction threat that these (as well as other nuts) can start when a pet consumes them. Because of this, it’s vital to take extra precautions to keep these nuts off of coffee tables, counters, and other areas that might be within your pet dog’s reach. Be cautious and look for macadamia nuts covered in delicious chocolate, as so many can cause health issues in pets when injured.
Allium veggies are a species of plants that include Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Shallots and Chives. Whether cooked or uncooked, these vegetables can be toxic to dogs or cats.
However, more significant amounts they ingest onions or garlic can prove both a debilitating and expensive outcome. Natural compounds in these popular seasonings can destroy your pet’s red blood cells in a process called hemolytic anemia.
Given all of the essential functions that red blood cells serve in the body, it’s not a thing you want your pets to suffer. Look out for issues where your pet may show initial symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. Still, as the case progresses, they will exhibit rapid shallow breathing, fast pulse, weakness, and either pale white or yellowish gums. Hemolytic anemia is a severe medical emergency.
While you’d never feed your pet alcohol, desserts may contain much different alcohol. It doesn’t take much for your company on Christmas Day to leave their drink on a side table where a dog (or a cat, for that matter) can reach and ingest it.
Like its effects on people, alcohol can cause several problems in your dogs and cats. It can lead to metabolic and neurological problems in your pets, resulting in vomiting, breathing difficulties, and coma, and can even cause death. Be cautious and keep the wine glasses, cocktails and alcohol-soaked desserts off the low-lying tables.
Xylitol is an increasingly common sugar-replacement sweetener in thousands of products. Including some of our favourite brands of Peanut Butter. It’s an all-natural sugar substitute and highly poisonous to our dogs and poisons thousands of dogs yearly. There has been increased awareness about xylitol in peanut butter and more than 700 other products. Xylitol has influenced some companies to change their labelling and warning practices.
Typically, dogs’ most significant wrongdoer of xylitol poisoning is sugar-free gum and mints. When on vacations, as well as people attempting to consume much less sugar, many people are baking with xylitol!
- Because it’s such a strong simulator of insulin in pet dogs, it takes just a small amount of xylitol (0.1 g/kg) consumed by a pet to trigger a harmful decline in blood sugar (“hypoglycemia”). Xylitol can cause an unsafe decrease in your canine’s blood sugar in as little as 30 minutes!
- In greater dosages (however still reasonably tiny), xylitol can trigger disastrous liver failure in some dogs. It’s genuinely nasty stuff for pets, so please review the labels and learn more about the risks of xylitol to pets.
Christmas Plants & Flowers
Flowers and plants are common host gifts. Whether you’re giving or receiving flowers, it’s essential to know that plants and flowers can cause issues for cats and dogs, such as poisonings, ranging from mild digestive upset to organ failure in Dogs and Cats.
Poinsettias are one of the well-known holiday plant hazards for pets. Due to the high toxicity level of poinsettia when ingested, urgent medical intervention is needed as it can have severe consequences for your pets.
- Mild signs may include Vomiting, Drooling, or rarely Diarrhea.
- The milky sap can irritate the skin, causing Redness, Swelling and Itchiness.
Although it is less popular than the Christmas Poinsettias around the Holiday Season, Cyclamen is found in homes this time of year. And only a few people know about the dangers of cyclamen.
Because they are readily available at supermarkets and garden stores (and relatively inexpensive), cyclamen can be a standard holiday hostess or host gift.
The toxins of the cyclamen plant can cause many problems for pets once ingested, ranging from excessive salivation and digestive upset to seizures and heart rhythm abnormalities. In small ingestion, most pets will suffer only mild digestive loss. However, in cases of significant ingestion, this toxicity can prove fatal.
Although lilies do not specifically ‘shriek’ Christmas, blossoms do! Lilies are among the most common kinds of flowers discovered in bouquets at many times of the year, including Christmas, and lilies are highly hazardous to cats. Lily toxicity is something everyone should know, no matter whether they have cats or dogs.
- It can take only a nibble on one leaf or stem or ingesting a small quantity of lily pollen to send a cat into intense kidney failure. You are rushing to the emergency veterinarian.
- Intense kidney failure is always debilitating and costly for your animal, and cats with severe kidney failure result from consuming lilies that are not good and will need aggressive therapy.
- Therapy for lily-induced intense kidney failure includes aggressive IV liquids, injectable drugs, nutritional assistance, and close surveillance. These treatments are not accessible at some vet facilities. If it’s open and you can afford it, kidney dialysis can be life-saving for dogs suffering from intense renal failure due to lily toxicity.
- A hospital stay and therapy expenses for this problem will rely on the seriousness of the instance and the dog’s reaction to therapy. A Vet bill will likely begin at around $2,000 and move upwards to $4,000 or more.
Thought about a popular and Stunning Christmas Holiday Decoration, Boughs of Holly is a staple for many worldwide. While the leaves and branches aren’t generally too huge of an issue, berries can be dangerous to pet cats and dogs.
- Swallowing holly berries can cause vomiting, looseness of the bowels, dehydration, and sleepiness.
- Also, if placed unreachable, berries can rapidly dry, fall to the floor, a taken in by your pet dog.
Before you enjoy that kiss under the mistletoe, guarantee it’s appropriately fixed to the ceiling. Though a securely placed sprig of mistletoe may give you that Christmas smooch you’ve fantasized about all year, it may also land your pet dog or cat in the hospital if it drops to the ground or they discover another means to obtain their paws on it.
- Also, mistletoe can trigger extreme salivating and digestive system trouble when eaten in tiny quantities.
- Yet, significant problems are in store for your pet dog if they ingest more of this everyday Christmas decor. In these scenarios, your pet may experience heart and neurological problems, including irregular heartbeat and rhythm, lowered blood pressure, and a great walk. These signs can advance to collapse, seizures, coma, and death if left without treatment.
Fake trees are becoming significantly popular; numerous people still obtain real-time trees, which can harm pet dogs and cats.
- Both dogs and pet cats enjoy chewing on the limbs, and oils from fir trees can aggravate the inside of their mouths, creating drooling and throwing up.
- Ingested prickly needles can cause intestinal blockage or possibly puncture the intestine, resulting in an uncomfortable problem called peritonitis.
- You can restrict their access by placing a barrier around the tee to help ensure that they are not able to reach it. The Christmas Tree Defender prevents cats from climbing a tree from the bottom! You can use them on potted plants as well.
From cuts on paws from broken ornaments to gastrointestinal obstruction from decorations that get ingested, ornaments and other Christmas tree decorations pose a wide array of hazards to your pets.
Cats are probably most at risk of sustaining injuries with their propensity to bat down and play with things that dangle in front of them. It isn’t to say that dogs aren’t at risk of injury or illness.
Some simple steps include keeping your cat out of your tree, picking up fallen ornaments and cleaning up broken pieces, and never leaving your pet unsupervised around your tree and the decorations.
Light Strands & Electrical Cords
Before you assume that your pet doesn’t have an affinity for anything shocking, keep in mind that it’s the one time of year that we have more exposed cables and light strands adorning our home. It’s natural for dogs and cats to chew, so don’t assume that their normal behaviour will be consistent with the holidays.
Pets that chew on electric cords can sustain burns on their tongues and elsewhere in their mouth. These pets may also develop fluid buildup within their lungs due to electrical shock. This fluid buildup within the lungs resulting from a cause other than heart failure is known as non-carcinogenic pulmonary edema, which can lead to breathing problems and can be fatal.
Signs that your pet may have suffered an electrical shock include:
- Abnormal behaviour.
- Excessive drooling.
- Refusal to eat or drink.
- Random or strange urination/defecation near the electrical cord.
- Evidence of a chewed electrical line.
Tips to prevent your pet from experiencing electric shock:
- Recognize that puppies and kittens are the most likely to chew on electric cords. As such, use extra care with puppies and kittens in the house and be careful not to have any electric cables near a puppy’s crate.
- Be sure to unplug all strands of lights when you leave the house or before you go to bed at night. If you want the lights to be on when you wake up in the morning, plug them into a reliable timer.
- For the long ‘tail’ of the cord on the light strand (the portion without lights), consider using a protective covering such as The Chew-safe cord protector or the Critter-cord to prevent the teeth of curious or mischievous pets from sinking in.
- To prevent fires, always check your cords for evidence of chew damage before plugging them in.
- If you have a pet that you’re sure will attack the strands of lights, wrap only the top portion of your tree, consider using rope-type lighting instead, or don’t use such lights in your home. Rope lighting can more easily be rubbed with a deterrent spray, such as Bitter Apple, to help decrease the chances that your pets will chew on it. Tip: Do not spray the deterrent product directly onto the lighting; spread it on a cloth and then wipe the strand with the dampened cloth.
- Opt for lower voltage LED lights (rather than the traditional higher voltage incandescent type) to decrease the risk associated with a nibble on the cord. These bulbs are also often made of plastic rather than glass and are less likely to break and cause a laceration or cut-type injury.
Just like tinsel, ribbons and bows that adorn wrapped gifts and lay around with your wrapping supplies are typically quite enticing for cats. Something about these wrapping accessories seems to trigger a cat’s inner hunter. Unfortunately, a typical result of this ‘hunt’ is an intestinal obstruction that can sicken or kill your cat.
If your cat has ingested something and might have caused an obstruction, look for these symptoms:
- Refusal of food
- Decreased energy
- Diarrhea or a lack of bowel movements
- Abdominal pain (often indicated by your pet’s growling, vocalizing, or attempts to bite when their abdomen is touched or you attempt to pick them up)
Treatment for linear foreign body obstruction should always involve surgery. Not just to remove the offending material but to evaluate the gut for damage and tissue beyond repair.
If something is protruding from your pet’s butt, read this to find out what to do! Suppose you pull at what’s sticking out. It can cause further damage to your pet’s digestive tract, including perforation of their bowel, resulting in bacteria and intestinal contents leaking into the abdominal cavity, causing painful and life-threatening inflammation and infection within the abdominal cavity called septic peritonitis.
Prevent bows and ribbons from becoming a Christmas cat-astrophysics!
- Make sure to leave wrapping supplies where your pets can get to them. Put all away when done using them, or wrap all your presents in a room or area you can close off to prevent your pet’s access.
- Wait to put gifts with ribbons and bows out under the tree until Christmas morning.
- Please only allow your pets around the tree while you’re unwrapping presents, or be very diligent to securely discard any ribbons and bows as soon as they come off the gift they’re adorning.
- Once you have finished wrapping the gifts, take the scrap to the trash bag containing ribbons and bows to your outdoor trash can for the most secure disposal.
- Don’t allow pets to play with ribbons and bows, and advise your guests not to engage your pets in such play, either.
- Skip the ribbons and bows for your holiday and gift decorating together.
Potpourri (liquid or dry) can create or help to mimic wonderful holiday smells. While these oily liquids and dry concoctions can fill a house with a sensory overload of beautiful aromas without all the ‘hassle’ of baking cookies, lighting a fire, or cutting down a pine tree, they also pose a genuine and potentially very significant hazard to your pets.
Cats: Liquid potpourris typically contain two substances that can be toxic, essential oils and catatonic detergents. While the oil component of the liquid potpourris can cause problems for your pets, typically, it’s the catatonic detergents that cause the more significant issues.
- The catatonic detergents in liquid potpourri can cause severe ulceration and chemical burns to the surfaces within your pet’s mouth and along its digestive tract.
- They can cause similar problems if they come into contact with their skin or eyes.
Dogs: Dry potpourri can contain various fragrant dried herbs and flowers. The potential toxicity of such a mixture depends entirely on what plants are in it. Still, even nonpoisonous floral potpourri can irritate your dog’s gastrointestinal system and cause vomiting or diarrhea.
- If the potpourri mix includes more complicated items like miniature pine cones or bark chips, these could potentially lodge in your dog’s throat and cause breathing difficulties.
- Pine and other flora are toxic, but you might be unable to tell what each dried piece of potpourri is in a mix, especially since they’re often artificially coloured.
Now you might not think that your dog would eat a battery. Still, given the urgency with which these types of cases keeping your pet away from emergency rooms and general practices around the country, quite a few dogs seem to love chewing on and swallowing these things!
Traditional battery types such as AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt can result in serious injuries such as oral burns and digestive upset or obstruction. It is severe and can pose an additional danger when swallowed, as it can cause esophageal burns and perforations.
View a time-lapse video showing how button batteries can quickly burn a hole in the esophagus!
To avoid the animal emergency room this year, follow a few simple tips:
- Please only leave remote controls where your pets can quickly get them.
- Batteries are standard stocking stuffers! Be sure to hang your stockings high and keep your pets well away from them.
- If they’re old enough, talk with your children about the dangers of battery ingestion in pets and the importance of putting their toys away after playing with them. Suppose your kids need to be younger to understand this discussion. In that case, you will need to be careful about their potential risk of ingesting batteries which is one of those emergencies that can cause issues to pets.)
- To prevent dropped batteries from rolling under the couch or desk, where they are likely to remain ‘lost’ until they turn up in your pet’s stomach, permanently remove and change batteries over a bowl or sink.
- Appropriately and securely store your spare batteries in a drawer or toolbox.
Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering
- Residence Rules: If your animal loves guests, you want to distract your animals with toys and exercise while tending to the party and guests.
- Place the Meds Away: Make sure all your medications are out of sight and locked behind protected doors, and inform your guests to keep their medications zipped up, stored, and secured.
- Creating a Room of Their Own: Give your pet dog a peaceful room to retreat to with fresh water and an area to cuddle. Shy dogs and cats could want to hide under a piece of furniture in their separate room far from the Noise.
- New Year Noise: As you count down to the new year, please remember that strings of tossed confetti can get lodged in a feline’s intestinal tract if consumed, perhaps demanding a surgical procedure. Loud poppers can terrify family pets and cause possible damage to delicate ears. And also, keep in mind that numerous pet dogs are likewise frightened of fireworks, so be sure to safeguard them in a risk-free, escape-proof location as midnight methods.