Protecting Pets from Holiday Hazards

By Regan Zeller

The holidays are a time of joy, time with family and friends and exchanging good tidings. The last thing that you want is for this to be a time spent in the emergency room with your pet. there are so many foods we consume at Christmastime that are horrible and even deadly for your pet not to mention toxins and harmful chemicals associated with your Christmas Tree and decorations.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the holidays and keep your pet safe.
High fat foods, such as ham, gravy, butter and desserts, may cause inflammation of your dog’s pancreas. Pancreatitis causes intense abdominal pain and vomiting and requires hospitalization to recover. Keep foods securely sealed and enclosed in a high space or the refrigerator. Secure the lid on the trash can to avoid garbage raiding.
Bones: chewing on bones, particularly turkey bones, can cause splintering. Once swallowed, the splintered bones can cause trauma to the intestinal tract, requiring surgery. Ham bones, while they tend to not splinter, are hard and can fracture teeth when your dog chews on them.
Onions and onion powder: in large enough quantities can cause a sudden onset of anemia.
Foreign objects: such as string (used to tie the turkey), skewers, plastic bags and turkey poppers. Your pet does not have self restraint or the common sense to avoid these objects that drip of meat juices.
Toxins: Mistletoe and holly are toxic plants. Caution with snow globes as they contain toxic antifreeze, which is highly toxic to pets.
Tree: – Secure the tree to avoid the tree falling onto your pet if they decide to climb. – Ornaments should be kept on higher branches to avoid breaking, eating and destruction. – Tinsel should not be used as pets love to play with it and if eaten, can cause serious injury to the intestinal tract and require surgery to repair. – If you put chemicals in the water of your tree, cover the bowl so your pet does not drink from it. – Sweep up pine needles to avoid health problems.
Maintain routines: With all of the people in the house, some pets may become nervous with the change in routine. Provide your pet with a retreat space to unwind from it all. Be sure to keep normal routines especially exercise for your pet.
Shut the front door! If you expect a large number of people in your home, be sure to watch the door to make sure that there are no unexpected escapes.
If you want to offer something special to your pet for Christmas, and most of us do, choose alternative treats such as a new toy or extra bonding and exercise time. At the end of the day you’ll be thankful that you did.