Help Your Pets Have a Great Holiday Season
The holidays are an exciting time of year for all members of the household, but especially for your four-footed friends! It can be a challenge to keep the enthusiasm to a minimum with an energized pup or stubborn kitten, and once those decorations go up and the food comes out, there's really no telling what they'll get their little paws into.
I grew up with a little Cockapoo dog named Jake and he LOVED to eat. Anything we dropped on the ground during dinner (ahem, broccoli, beans, peas…) was quickly vacuumed up by him. In hindsight, leaving our homemade fudge under the Christmas tree was definitely a mistake. Who knew a canine could sniff that out through the wrapping paper?! With an entire batch of chocolate fudge gone and a mess on the sidewalk from the poor pooch, we learned our lesson.
While this season can bring their joy, if you're not careful about pet-proofing your home, poor Fido (or in my case, Jake) could be set up for despair. Check out how these six unassuming seasonal items could put your pet in danger.
Christmas trees are a holiday staple, and while they certainly add to the festivities, they can be pretty distracting for your pets. The following items should be kept out of reach from your curious friends.
One of the best parts about the holidays is the food! All those tasty desserts and platters can make anyone's mouth water. But remember my story before? Mr. Fluffy might love that rich chocolate for the first few minutes, but consuming even a little bit can turn that festive evening into a nightmare.
You've probably heard by now that poinsettias are hazardous for your pets, but did you know that holly, mistletoe, hibiscus and potpourri are even more dangerous? Holly can cause an upset stomach and be potentially fatal. Mistletoe also upsets the stomachs of both cats and dogs and can cause heart collapse. Hibiscus can cause diarrhea, and who needs more cleanup during the holidays?! Dry potpourri (while not technically a plant) can cause vomiting while liquid potpourri can cause thermal or chemical burns, oral and stomach ulcers, drooling and vomiting.
When decorating for the holidays this year, be sure to place these plants out of your pet's reach or settle for a realistic imitation.
Candles are particularly attractive to pets because of their smell, taste and texture. However, as you can imagine, a lit candle can quickly become a major fire hazard if tipped over or scooted against a flammable object. Make sure all candles, both wicked and wickless (candle warmer), are placed above the reach of your four-footed family members and are always supervised by a responsible adult.
According to , many snow globes have been found to contain ethylene glycol, also known as antifreeze, which is highly toxic to all pets. If a snow globe breaks or has a leak, even one teaspoon of this concoction (two teaspoons for dogs) when ingested can be fatal.
If you believe your pet has ingested any of this substance, immediately seek help and call your family veterinarian.
Make sure all electrical cords are carefully hidden so your dog doesn't make a chew toy out of them! Any kind of penetration past the protective coating of the cord can cause electrical shock to your unsuspecting pooch. Pro Tip: run the cords through PVC pipe or an extra cardboard roll of wrapping paper to avoid accidental traumas!
Keeping these tips in mind can help you make sure the holiday season is safe and festive for you and your pets! Have any other tips? Let us know by sharing in the comments below.