The holidays are a wonderful time. Presents under the tree and the smell of baked goods make the home feel festive. But they prove to be an especially dangerous time for your pet’s health. Many holiday treats pose a danger to pets of all types. Here is a list of warnings for common holiday treats and decorations.
Avoid Sharing Sweet Treats and Baked Goods with Your Pets
Sweets are generally too rich to be healthy for pets and they may contain harmful ingredients.
Xylitol is extremely toxic to pets, and is found in many holiday treats and baked goods. It can be deadly for dogs and is linked to liver failure.
Common baking yeast can cause harmful bloating and gas in pets as well.
It is simply safer to keep all baked good and other sweets safely put away out of reach for pets.
Chocolate is Toxic for Dogs and Cats
Chocolate is one of the most dangerous substances for many animals, and it is found in a wide variety of holiday treats like fudge, cookies, cakes, and pies. Chocolate is extremely toxic for dogs, cats, and many other pets as well.
Chocolate of any form should safely be placed out of reach of pets. Wrapped or packaged chocolate treats aren’t safe either, as the smell may lure pets to tear open the packaging to get at the treats inside. Secondarily, if your pet consumes the package it could wreak havoc on the digestive tract.
Table Scraps can be Poisonous to Pets
Table scraps should not be given to pets in general, but during the holidays they tend to be more harmful as richer foods are often eaten. Turkey meat and skin even in small amounts can cause pancreatitis in pets, which can be life threatening. Other items found in human-safe meals are often poisonous for pets, including onions, avocados, grapes, and raisins. In general, scraps are rich, fattening, and hard to digest, contributing to health conditions such as pancreatitis.
Avoid giving any scraps to pets. Immediately clear leftovers from the table, and remove them from the kitchen. Throw scraps away, and secure garbage to avoid pets pushing over cans or getting into leftovers.
Alcoholic Drinks are Dangerous to Pets
Many drinks are dangerous for pets. Alcohol, including beer and wine, is highly toxic to many pets, as are drinks with coffee and chocolate. Drinks are easily spilled or knocked over, giving pets accidental access to dangerous substances. It is best to keep an eye on pets when consuming or serving these beverages.
Harmful scents and other dangers
During the holidays especially, we often introduce new scents to the house. Some of these can be detrimental to your pet’s health.
Candles and essential oils are often harmful are to pets when burned or defused. Only soy based candles should be used, as paraffin is toxic to many pets. All scented candles can be toxic to birds. Essential oils as well as artificial air fresheners are often harmful to many pets. Turkey bags and non-stick cookware can produce odors harmful to many pets, and potentially life threatening too birds.
Pet Safety and Decorations
Treats, poisonous table scraps, and baked good aren’t the only dangers to your pets during the holidays. Lights can cause burns if chewed, Christmas trees can tip over onto pets, ornaments can break causing cuts or danger if ingested. Holiday plants can also pose a danger. Mistletoe, balsam, Amaryllis, Poinsettias, pine, and cedar can all be dangerous if ingested. Keep plants away from pets, and unplug lights when pets are left alone.
What to Do if Your Pet Eats Something They Shouldn’t?
Contact Diamond Veterinary Hospital. 1-425-252-1106 to immediately to determine what type of care is needed. If you don’t get a hold of us, contact the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 1-888-426-4435. If something toxic has been ingested, quick response is critical.