Holiday Pet Safety

A Friendly Holiday Reminder from the Advanced Pet Care Team

As part of your family, your pet should be able to enjoy the holidays safely just like everyone else. As their guardian, it’s up to you to keep them safe! Here in Webster, we’ve seen our share of pets come in with holiday-related illnesses and injuries. We also know that it’s easy to overlook certain safety hazards when you’re caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. That’s why we’re happy to offer some reminders about what you need to do to prevent an emergency.

Off-Limit Foods

The holidays are certainly a special time, especially when it comes to food. And when you want to help your pet feel included in the celebrations, your instinct is to give them table scraps. However, offering handouts to your pet can train them to expect handouts every time, and their system may not be able to properly digest the food you’re giving them.

That being said, certain foods are safe to give, but make sure they do not include any of these:

  • Meat bones
  • Onions, shallots, garlic, leeks, and chives
  • Chocolate (any kind)
  • Walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans
  • Raisins, grapes, and currants
  • Avocado
  • Xylitol (sugar substitute found in candy, sugar-free gum, and various baked goodies)
  • Buttery mashed potatoes or anything seasoned
  • Anything containing large quantities of nutmeg
  • Raw bread dough made with yeast

Hazardous Plants and Decorations

They may be pretty, but these holiday favorites can make life difficult for your pet:

  • Mistletoe, holly, and Jerusalem cherry are very toxic for dogs and cats
  • Christmas trees – in addition to pine and fir needles being toxic, the sap is also toxic and can make the tree water highly toxic as well
  • Strands of lights can burn your pet’s mouth if they decide to chew on them. Avoid leaving dangling strands and loops on your tree, and make sure any cords on the ground have protective covering
  • Glass ornaments are obviously very fragile and if they break, they can hurt your pet’s feet. Either tie these ornaments to the highest branches on the tree or avoid putting them on the tree altogether
  • Ribbon, tinsel, yarn, twine, and any other type of string – if ingested, these items can cause choking, internal injury, or intestinal obstruction

Use caution with these decorations and plants, or keep them out of your home for optimal safety. More important, keep a close eye on your pet and if you have guests over, tell them that your pet should only have their own food and treats.

If you’d like to know more about holiday dangers and how to minimize them, let us know by calling (281) 406-3507.

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