Whether it’s decorations or desserts, holiday time may be festive for people, but it can be downright dangerous for pets.
Here are a few tips for pet parents to protect their furry charges from potential holiday hazards.
- Avoid hanging edible ornaments or pet toys, warns the American Animal Hospital Association. Pets are naturally drawn to the temptation and could not only damage the tree but worse yet, sustain an injury, as well. Glass ornaments and tinsel can cause serious internal damage, warns the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Discourage tree mishaps by sprinkling the tree skirt and lower branches with household white pepper or spraying them with a nontoxic taste deterrent.
- Consider flameless candles instead of the real thing to prevent serious accidents. Also, poinsettias are toxic to pets, so decorate accordingly.
- Make sure pets are in a safe, comfortable place while festivities are going on. Most don’t like all the hoopla.
- Holiday leftovers and utensils can cause illness and even death to a hungry pet, adds AAHA, so take out the trash. Onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, chocolate, and especially alcohol are toxic. Artificial sweeteners, used in many foods now, can cause liver failure, adds AVMA, and turkey and skin can cause pancreatitis, a life-threatening condition.
- If traveling with your pet make sure he’s safely restrained in a secure harness or carrier, clear of airbags, and never leave him alone in the car, no matter the weather, adds AVMA. If traveling by air consult your veterinarian first. Some pets can’t tolerate air travel. If taking your pet along, include food, medication, medical records and identification.
- If you’re planning on boarding your dog while you’re away, your veterinarian can tell you how to protect your pet from canine flu and other contagious diseases, and to make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines.